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Grieving parents awarded millions in medical wrongful death case

As parents, we do everything we can to protect our children from harm. When it comes to medical procedures that could be life-saving, cost is rarely a consideration. If their child needs it, most parents wouldn't hesitate to pay for it.

That's why it is especially disheartening to hear about cases in which children have died because doctors - not parents - decided not to act. When doctors fail to diagnose a life-threatening condition and then choose to do nothing based on that misdiagnosis, the consequences are often tragic.

While it didn't occur here in Oregon, a medical malpractice and wrongful death case in the news is an example of a nightmare scenario for parents everywhere. In 2009, parents in Pennsylvania lost their 2-year-old daughter when a doctor allegedly failed to diagnose the girl's twisted stomach. Instead of surgery, the girl was sent home. Not long after that, the girl's stomach ruptured and she died of sepsis related to the rupture.

Earlier this month, after a lengthy court battle, a jury ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and awarded the girl's parents $6.25 million in damages. Just over half of that award was for wrongful death.

Medical malpractice cases can take years, which is a difficult emotional investment for many plaintiffs to make. But when you lose a young child to a medical error that was likely preventable, what choice do you have? These cases are rarely ever about the money, save for recouping medical bills and other costs that were incurred as a result of the malpractice. Instead, they are about seeking justice and searching for answers. Hopefully, this jury verdict will give these grieving parents some much-needed closure.

Source: Citizens Voice, "Family awarded $6.25M in 2-year-old’s death," Eric Mark and James Halpin, May 21, 2015

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