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The Doctor Murdered My Husband! Homicide, Murder, Manslaughter

Discussion in 'Criminal Charges' started by artsysuz, Jul 10, 2021.

  1. artsysuz

    artsysuz Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hello, What I need help with is sadly, very common, and increasing. I need to know what to do. My husband was murdered by a doctor at a hospital last November, but because of his age and that he was terminal, no attorneys will take my case for wrongful death. (There is a Missouri Supreme Court case where the Supreme Court stated that it IS murder to end a terminal patient's life before their natural death.) But I was there and I argued with the doctor telling her that she was overdosing him and she just shrugged her shoulders and walked out of the room. I had asked repeatedly to take him home but the nurse told me he would die on the way. Then I overheard nurses saying they had to evacuate the floor to bring in COVID patients so AGAIN I asked to take him home. They STILL told me no. I asked to speak to the hospitalist in charge of his case and I was told they'd give her the message but she was very busy. I didn't know what to do. We only had Medicare Advantage and Medicaid for backup, so I thought if I took him out of there without the hospitals permission, the ambulance probably wouldn't transport him because Medicare wouldn't cover it if we left without being signed out. I didn't know what to do because things were moving too fast. I couldn't leave my husband's side because I didn't know what they'd do while I was gone. He had come into the hospital a few days before because his abdomen needed drained again. We were scheduled to have a port put in in 4 days so we could drain him at home. When his abdomen filled with fluid he had trouble breathing and just needed it drained. But once they had him in the hospital, they decided he wasn't leaving. They started piling on diagnosis after diagnosis and refused to do anything to help him with any of them. They put him on a ventilator instead of draining his abdomen and then decided to do it, but then kept him on the ventilator for 3 days. Finally they realized he didn't need it and removed him. Thats when I began asking to bring him home. But they insisted he go to a Hospice bed for 24 hrs to make sure he was stable. We didn't like it, but reluctantly agreed. He was awake and aware but unable to speak due to just being extubated. But the next day when I came to see him in the "hospice bed", he was knocked out cold on morphine and ativan and they were refusing to give him any fluids or nutrition. I kept telling them I wanted to bring him home but his nurse kept saying No. I asked to talk to the doctor in charge and was told she was busy. I spent the night because they said he didn't have long to live. I told them we are Catholic and do not agree with starving a person to death or withholding fluids or overdosing a person on morphine or any other drug. His nurse promised they wouldn't do that, but the next day (I stayed the night at his side), the doctor in charge came in while I was in the bathroom. When I came out she was standing over him and I saw her turn the morphine/ativan pump up. He was already knocked out cold and sleeping deeply. His breathing was fine, no rasping, no anything. He was breathing quietly and easily. But she tried to tell me he needed more morphine to ease his breathing. I told her she was going to kill him but she didn't care. She just walked out of the room. Our son came in shortly after and we stood there watching as my husband's breathing got slower. He would have long pauses in his breaths. I would shake him gently and remind him to breathe, hoping, I guess that I could do it until I could figure out what to do. I almost removed his IV but I knew they'd arrest me and I wouldn't be there when they killed him. It was something I'll never forget. I should have done SOMETHING, but I didn't know what. I let my beloved husband down when he needed me the most and I'll never forgive myself. But my question is: Is there a chance to get a DA to prosecute this doctor and nurse for kidnapping and murder? Civil attorneys won't take the case because my husband was 71 y.o. and though he was working 50 hrs/wk prior to his diagnosis, they feel that any award or settlement wouldn't be enough to cover costs. I even told the last attorney that I don't care about the money. He can have it all. But he told me I wohld have to pay all costs up front. Its not that I have any money. Its just that its more important to me to stop these doctors and nurses from ing people than it is to get money for my husband's death. I am disabled and only have social security because when my husband was diagnosed, his new employer dropped all his insurance and told him they hadn't given it to him, even though we had used it, had the health cards and welcome packet etc. His benefit package included health, short-term disability and life insurance. They took them all away. That's why all we had was Medicare Advantage and Medicaid for backup.
    Any help or advice would be appreciated. I know that pro-life organizations are working to get a law passed in Michigan to give patients and their families more rights so that doctors can't starve patients, keep them against their will, or kill them. I can't believe we need a law for that. I always thought doctors were there to help people when they're sick, not murder them.
    Thank you.
     
  2. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    I'm so very sorry for your loss.

    You did ask a question...what is it you want from this forum?
     
  3. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    My guess is that the hospital staff will have a rather different take on your late husband's condition and the necessity for the actions they took than you do. It likely wasn't murder — an intentional unlawful killing — but more likely they did what they thought was medically necessary/appropriate under the circumstances. Unfortunately even if they were doing what was medically sound it does not seem like anyone really took the time to explain to you what was really going on and why. That wouldn't have made a difference in the outcome but might have gone a long way towards easing your distress. Doctors and nurses don't always recognize the need for that.

    The legal issue here would be one of malpractice; i.e. did they provide at least the minimum standard of care for such medical professionals given the information that was available to them at the time. Determining that and litigating a malpractice case is very expensive in part because of all the medical expert reports and expert testimony that is require to establish if the care was below minimum standard. You may also have needed to get financial experts to establish the financial loss that resulted from any negligence.

    Note that even if there was negligence if the outcome would have been much the same anyway then there isn't much to win in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Also, as you know, for patients that are advanced in years the financial loss will end up being lower because they'll have less expected earnings over their remaining expected life than someone much younger. Based on life expectancy tables, a male who is 71 today would expect to live, on average, another 13-14 years. And it's unlikely that a person that age who is still working for income would work all of those remaining years. Judgements would also include any medical expenses of the patient that were incurred because of the negligence, but in a case like this my guess is that there are not a lot of those expenses. You see large amounts of those kinds of expenses where the patient is injured (but not killed) by the negligence and requires a lot of medical care for months or years after. So you likely do not have a lot of expenses to add into a judgment. Those are the fundamental realities of litigating these cases that lawyers have to confront and is why you are having trouble finding lawyers to take the case on a contingent fee. Without a potential judgment large enough to make the considerable time (and potentially money investment depending on the fee agreement) that the lawyer invests in the case the lawyer won't be willing to take the risk. In this situation it may be that even if the lawyer got 100% of the judgment it wouldn't pay for the lawyer to do it. And if you foot the bill for all the litigation — paying for lawyer's time by the hour and all the expenses of litigation — it'll easily cost you many tens of thousands of dollars and in the end you may end up winning less than you spend. It seems callous for lives to calculated in dollars like we do in the legal system, but that's the reality that lawyers have to work with.

    I realize that none of this eases the pain of your loss and you have my deepest condolences on the loss of your husband. Even winning a big judgment wouldn't take much of the sting out of his death. Perhaps if you could find a way to get an expert review of the medical records at a reasonable cost that might help provide you an explanation from a medical perspective of what really happened here and whether there was malpractice. If it turns out there wasn't any malpractice and that there really wasn't much that could have been done to save your husband that might provide some consolation for you. Otherwise, other than continuing to try to find a lawyer to take the case, I don't see much else for you to do, at least from a legal perspective. And once you've seen a number of lawyers who have all told you they won't take it, at some point you have to decide to give up the chase.
     
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  4. Redemptionman

    Redemptionman Active Member

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    Yes, you are not finding an attorney because the costs associated with bringing the case is a financial burden most firms will not be able to take. No one knows all the particulars of your situation but you want to see if you can find an attorney who specializes in these particular cases. In civil cases like this most attorneys will give you advice on where to seek representation.

    More than likely you are looking for an out of state attorney licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction who only specializes in medical malpractice cases. The attorney you are seeking will have done multiple malpractice cases in lots of different states and will have the experience and know how to execute a successful case. There is an attorney out there who will take the case but you have to be resourceful and persistent to find this individual.

    Good luck and best wishes in your pursuit.
     
  5. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    No. What you want to do is find a medical malpractice attorney who has extensive experience in your particular state which in most parts of the country won't be an attorney from out of state . The rules for medical malpractice cases vary significantly from state to to state, the rules of procedure and evidence vary, and experience with local courts and juries is invaluable. The more experience the lawyer has in handling those cases in your state, the better.

    Moreover, there are not a lot of attorneys outside the northeast part of the country that are licensed in more than one state, and very, very few that are licensed in more than a handful of states. So finding a med malpractice attorney who has done multiple cases "in lots of different states", even if one exists, is going to narrow your choices considerably. And even if you find that lawyer, his/her experience in your own state is going to be sparse and that's not a good thing. Finally, using an out of state lawyer means the lawyer will be incurring a lot more costs for travel, etc., that will come out of the client's pocket.


    There might be an attorney who will take the case. But that's all anyone here can really say.

    First, no good lawyer will take the case if there is no good evidence of malpractice. We don't have all the medical records here to evaluate and even if we did no one here (other than Army Judge) is a medical doctor so far as I know, so we'd not be able to tell if there was medical malpractice anyway.

    Second, even if there is a good case for medical malpractice, a lawyer won't take it on contingent fee if the potential recovery in the case is not large enough to make it worth the effort and risk that the lawyer undertakes. Of course if the client is willing to foot the bill for all the legal costs then the amount of the potential recovery won't be a barrier to getting a lawyer. But the OP evidently lacks the money to do that.
     
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  6. artsysuz

    artsysuz Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you all for your replies. I expected your answers, but hoped to find just one person who was willing to wake up. You see, I've been widowed twice in my life and the thing I have now seen both times, is that those we meet and talk to have no clue of anything to do with End of Life issues, nor do they wish to know. For people in the legal field to feel this way, is a huge detriment to society. And whether its fear of their own demise or that they hold an anti-life philosophy, it really doesn't matter, the result is the same. Those who have lost someone, especially if that person was murdered, need to be listened to and legal assistance given if necessary. Why? Because when it happens to you, you'll want that good karma to come back to you. But especially because, whether or not you like it, we live in a nation of laws and when those laws are broken, if EVERYONE doesn't have access to the judicial system in the same way, then there IS NO JUSTICE. Its simply a 2-tier justice system: one for the rich and powerful and one for those of us who can't afford "justice".
    The issue I have brought to you is happening in nursing homes, hospices and hospice units of hospitals throughout the country, but its being kept under wraps because its so difficult to get before a judge due largely to the same 2 tier "justice" system I referenced above. These medical facilities have been doing this for OVER 20 YEARS, to the terminal, handicapped, and elderly, as documented by a now defunct organization that has left its research online. And these medical facilities and doctors get away with it because they have complete control of the patient's medical records. They've had charge of OUR medical records for so long that they are emboldened to put whatever they wish in the records and they do. I have personally caught NUMEROUS mistakes in my own medical records and when I sent a letter correcting the medical information and followed up with a 2nd request a few months later, NO CORRECTIONS WERE ENTERED, nor was my letter anywhere in the file. This happened on more than one occasion with different doctors. Similarly, when I requested my husband's records, the hospital omitted the entire period in question. When I submitted another request, I received a record apparently hastily put together because the attending doctor, who murdered him, also SIGNED the Death Certificate, which has the correct date of death on it, but had written, in several places in my husband's records that he died a day later. Now, if the doctor filled the medical record out BEFORE signing the Death Cert, as she would have if she did it as she was attending him daily, she would have referred to the medical record for time and date of death. So what that means to me, is that she most likely filled the medical record out some time after signing the Death Cert and forgot what she had written on the Death Certificate. That seems strange, no? They also STILL did NOT include ANY medication records for the time in question. Now, why do you suppose that is when I have submitted both times a request for "ANY AND ALL " records? Why wouldn't they include medication records? I can guess but I think we all know why. Until we stop thinking of medical personnel as infallible and ALWAYS operating from the standpoint of our best interests, these horror stories WILL continue. We MUST take doctors and nurses OFF the pedestal we put them on. They are fallible people and if they make a mistake or do something wrong, they shouldn't be excused. Many of us were rightfully concerned when Obamacare was being foisted on us, that there would be Death Panels. We were called "Kooks" and told they would never do that. Well, I submit they DID do that, only its not a panel. They instituted the "hospitalist" field , ostensibly to "free-up" doctors so they wouldn't have to do "rounds". But I submit that there was another motive: to take the doctor-patient relationship you have with the doctors you CHOOSE for your healthcare and replace them with people who do not know you and have no relationship of trust with you. And these are the 'Death Panels". They are the ones who make rhe decisions. YOUR doctors may not know ANYTHING until you're dead and if they do, they are AFRAID to say anything! I have spoken to several doctors who will not interfere or ADVOCATE to the hospitalist for THEIR OWN PATIENT!
    For all of these reasons, we NEED oversight of medical records by an independant organization within the medical field, made up of medical, legal and non-medical or legal people. Its TIME to stop letting the fox guard the henhouse.
    I recently spoke to the CEO of a national right to life organization and she told me the same thing had happened to her father and that the pattern of "treatment" is the same in almost every case she hears about: the doctor weakens the patient by denying them fluids and nutrition and then overdoses them, usually on morphine and ativan. (My husband had recently been in hospital and they LITERALLY starved him. When I insisted they transfer him to their main hospital, they FINALLY did after a WEEK of STARVING HIM, and when admitted, he was diagnosed as SEVERELY MALNOURISHED. Then this time when admitted, he was NOT End of Life, but when they put him in a Hospice bed "just for 24 hrs to be sure he's stable", they began denying him fluids and nutrition and suddenly, he was End of Life.)
    The CEO of the right to life organization, told me that many times family members aren't even aware a person was murdered until someone gets curious and begins investigating. She also told me that many times the patient wasn't at death's door, but expected to live for months. Yet once they were placed into hospice, they were dead within DAYS. She told me this is so widespread that she gets more calls each week regarding the murder of a loved one by a doctor in one of these facilities than she does regarding abortion issues! THAT'S how widespread this is and you will be hearing about it more and more until you can no longer just hand out condolences and turn people away who need and deserve justice for their loved ones.
    Murder is ALWAYS WRONG, MORALLY AND LEGALLY.
    But, as with so many people today, you won't understand or become outraged until they do it to YOUR loved one, or perhaps even YOU, and if we haven't figured this out by then, your family will be in the same boat as I am with no one to help. I don't even want any money. ALL I WANT IS FOR THIS ISSUE TO BE BROUGHT INTO THE LIGHT AND THESE PEOPLE STOPPED! I can GUARANTEE you of this: UNLESS PEOPLE IN YOUR PROFESSION WAKE UP AND ADDRESS THIS ISSUE, it WILL CONTINUE TO HAPPEN, and the next VICTIM may be YOU or YOUR LOVED ONE. We, as a society, are moving in the direction of killing those WE deem unworthy of life, or a burden to society, or using resources that some other MORE WORTHY person could use, even as we send Billions of dollars to other countries that frankly, hate us. Yet until someone or many, STAND UP for the RIGHTS of EVERY PERSON to live until their NATURAL DEATH, you, me and EVERYONE who uses a medical facility will be in DANGER of being deemed UNWORTHY OF LIFE. That's a FACT.
    So, thank you for your opinions. I'm sorry for YOU more than my husband or myself because your eyes are still shut and you don't want to see the truth, or maybe you're afraid to tackle such a huge issue. But the time is coming quickly when you will have no choice. May God help you and your loved ones when the "hospitalists" determine you or they are no longer worthy to live.
     
  7. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    What is it you want from this site? Did you expect/hope one of the very few attorneys that volunteer here to "take your case"? That is not the purpose of this site and you would have known this had you read the TOS when you joined. This site is to provide direction/guidance for others...it's members do not troll for clients.

    You can call the Michigan Bar Association for a referral or 5 and have a consult with each of them. State Bar of Michigan

    I would also strongly encourage to seek therapy or perhaps a support group for those that are in grief as you are.

    Once again, I am very sorry for your loss and I pray you find peace..
     
  8. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    The four elements of medical malpractice:

    An injured patient (or his/her next of kin) must show that the physician acted negligently in rendering care, and that such negligence resulted in injury or death.

    To do so, four legal elements must be proven: (1) a professional duty was owed to the patient; (2) the medical practitioner breached that duty; (3) injury was inflicted on the patient caused by the breach; and (4) damages resulted up to and including the death of the patient.

    The average award in a medical malpractice lawsuit across the U.S.A. approximates $242,000.

    More than 95% of all medical malpractice claims end in a settlement before or during trial proceedings. Many hospitals and doctors prefer to settle instead of entering into a trial proceeding that can potentially leave them liable for a much larger judgment.

    As suggested above by one of the respondents, you must NOT stop searching for your legal champion.

    You can possibly make that search easier if you use the resources of the state bar association and it's companion county bar associations in the state where you will bring your lawsuit. You also have the option of bringing the lawsuit in federal court, as opposed to the state court system. Your legal champion will discuss those options with you.

    What you might not wish to do is seek your legal champion via online discussion sites. Why? Because you might end up retaining a scammer, and not a legal champion.

    Please accept my condolences for the recent loss of your spouse, I pray you will eventually find your legal champion and peace in your heart as you mourn.
     
  9. Redemptionman

    Redemptionman Active Member

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    Right on @army judge, also finding a specialized Super Lawyer in that field is a great place to start. These large medical facility companies with all their large resources usually use the same firms (generally one or two main attorneys) to represent them time and time again. You find the one or two attorneys who have taken them on as a plaintiff and been successful in similar situations. It takes research on your part though and a thought out persistent game plan to find the right firm. I hope you are successful in finding the right situation before your statue of limitations runs out.

    You have a very unique situation with particulars to work out and each case is different, good luck with it.
     
  10. Red Kayak

    Red Kayak Well-Known Member

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    My condolences.

    1) As others pointed out, the correct area for this post would be under medical malpractice.

    2) White space is your friend. Perhaps somewhere in that wall of text, your husband's terminal illness is stated.

    3) Given a terminally ill patient medicine to control the pain is not malpractice.

    4) Was there an autopsy?

    The law works on "proof". Do you have "proof" that the doctor's actions were grossly out of line with current medical standards?
     
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  11. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    Lawyers evaluate situations like this to determine what the likely outcome in court would be if the matter was brought to trial. We do that based on facts at hand and the law that applies, as well as experience with the judges and juries in the county where the matter would be litigated. The problems you have are (1) you first need evidence of malpractice, which you'll only get after a medical expert reviews all the available medical records and related medical facts and (2) in order to make a lawsuit worthwhile, there has to be enough in legally recognized damages to make it worth the risk and effort to pursue.

    No lawyer is going to take a medical malpractice case on a contingent fee basis without both of those things. The lawyer can have all the sympathy in the world for you and your late husband but if there is no good evidence of malpractice or the damages are not high enough the case is just not worth pursuing. Sure, if there was evidence of malpractice and you were willing to pay all the lawyer's fees and costs out of your pocket you'd find lawyers willing to do it. But you'd need to be prepared to spend many tens of thousands dollars, at least, to fight that battle. Have you got $100,000 or more to wage that fight? And is it really worth spending all that if the judgment you get won't even cover what you paid out? And no matter what you win in the lawsuit, that won't do anything for your goal of trying to prevent it from happening again to someone else.


    If you really think it was murder, then it's not civil lawyers that you need to pursue that. You need the DA to file the murder charges. But I suspect that the medical records and other evidence won't point to murder. Your own bias in the matter may be coloring your perception of things. In any event, you'd take the evidence of murder that you have the police and DA and see if you can get them to pursue a criminal case.

    If that's what you want, and not money, then again a civil litigation attorney cannot help you. If you want this stopped, make your complaint to your state's medical board to see about getting action taken against the licenses of the responsible medical professionals.
     
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  12. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    No. While Michigan statutes don't define what "murder" means, a murder is, at a minimum, an intentional killing. What you described was, at worst, medical malpractice. If that were to rise to the level of a crime, it would likely be involuntary manslaughter. Whether you could persuade a DA to prosecute for that is impossible for anyone other than a local DA to know.

    P.S. Paragraph breaks will make your long posts easier to read.
     
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