Wednesday, June 9, 2010
I was driving to the store today (to buy ingredients for chex mix, stay on your toes for that post), when I heard a story on the radio that made me die a little inside.  This is not the first story of its kind, nor will be the last, I'm sure.   But still, every time I hear something like it, I want to smack someone in the face. 

So there was a woman, somewhere, that wanted to walk somewhere.  She didn't know how to get to said somewhere, so she did what all smart modern people do:  she Googled it.  Google reliably spit out some directions to wherever this woman wanted to go, she printed them out, and was on her way.  Well APPARENTLY, the directions took this woman onto a highway... or something like a highway.  It didn't have a shoulder, people were driving fast, it was dark out.  One might assume that when you arrived at a highway and were directed to go down it, but you had feet instead of a car, you would choose not to do that.  No, no.  Not her.  She walked down the highway.  And then she got hit by a car.  Alive, but injured, she did what any self-respecting person does.  She sued google.  Because it was THEIR fault that she walked down a highway AND got hit by a car.  Clearly, it had nothing to do with any intrinsic part of her genetic make up. 

And what's worse is someone has to entertain this suit.  She, God forbid, might even have a chance of winning.  Why?  I have no idea.  But she might.  I wonder what gives a person the idea that they can sue for things like that.  I despise the mentality that says, "I came out on the bad end of a situation, so someone should pay me for it."  It's rampant!  People think they DESERVE something because they got a raw deal.  Well, welcome to live, people.  Not everything goes your way.  People get hit by cars.  Bugs end up in food.  Houses burn down.  Lightening strikes buildings.  People are born with diseases.  That doesn't give you a right to find someone to blame it on.  Sometimes stuff just happens, and you have to mourn and move on.

Maybe I'm acutely sensitive to this because of being in the medical field and carefully thinking about how I will let medical legal issues affect my practice.  People practice defensive medicine, order unnecessary tests and imagine and labs simply to protect themselves against getting sued.  Not getting sued for making medical mistakes, but getting sued because of a bad outcome.  I hate that's how medicine is being practiced here, now.  But I also understand that if you have to pay out in a law suit, it prevents you from caring from a huge number of patients.  Still, the fact that people think that money is compensation for the pain they've experienced in life is unbelievably frustrating to me. 
And then, there's the lady who sues google because she walked down a highway and got hit by a car.  It reminds me of... lemmings.  Who, instead of seeing a cliff and walking off it, might see and arrow leading down a highway, and follow it.  They can blame the one in front of them, but in the end they still end up getting hit by a car, or walking off a cliff. 

We all remember the dry cleaning law suit, the hot McDonald's coffee. 

How do we fix this?!?!

PS.  Here is a link to the "actual" story...  Woman Sues Google


EoE Brewer said...

I hope this is just a phase that a culture goes through while developing into something better. Not to say that it's necessary for society to be at this point were lawsuits are the expected norm, but maybe it's just a matter of time until we truly realize the cost of liability and take a step back. Everything around us has risk and anyone/business/organization that interacts with people currently has to have some form of insurance solely to prevent good organizations from crumbling beneath one silly lawsuit like this one. Someday society might again reach a point where we simply step back from an accident or injury, admit that not everyone is perfect and we all make mistakes and move on.

About Me

I am a Family Medicine intern at a community hospital in Indiana, navigating the new world of being a physician. I am privileged to work in a field I love, where every day is a new and unpredictable challenge.
I am not only a doctor, but also a cyclist, runner, DIYer in the making, lover of the outdoors, traveler, and human.
Human, MD is a glimpse into the world of a young doctor who is just trying to stay true to herself through the grueling whirlwind of residency.


Visitor Count