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One of the first things doctors learn in medical school is the old adage that they do no harm. Except in New Jersey. Official state records just released reveal that in 2006 there were 42 persons killed and 408 seriously injured in New Jersey’s 78 hospitals. Things are getting worse – in 2005 there were “only” 376 such incidents.

The most common events were falls, pressure ulcers, medication errors, burns, wrong-site surgeries, and sponges and medical instruments left in patients. This horrendous record cries out for action by the New Jersey Medical Society. The hosptials must do a better job to insure patient safety. The Medical Socity owes a duty to all New Jersey citizens to weed out the incompetent doctors.

The editors of New Jersey newspapers and the members of the Senate and Assembly need to read the report in full and demand prompt remedial action. The Medical Society, in shrill tones designed to hide the truth, argues that the solution is tort “reform” and caps. Unfortunately, those solutions only reward bad doctors. Bad health care providers must be held personally responsible for the harms they cause. A complete copy of the 2006 report from New Jersey’s Department of Health and Senior Services is available onlne . It should be required reading and certainly paints a bleak picture of the state of health care in New Jersey.

For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Medical Malpractice and Negligent Care.

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