Eideard

Hospital denies liability for stents unnecessarily implanted

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St. Joseph Medical Center has repeatedly said it wants to do right by its coronary stent patients.

After a complaint last year that star cardiologist Mark Midei was placing stents in the arteries of patients who didn’t need them, the Towson hospital removed him from duty, reviewed thousands of medical records and sent letters to nearly 600 people whose stents appeared unnecessary, telling them to go see a doctor.

When asked if the hospital bore any legal liability, CEO Jeffrey K. Norman replied: “I suppose we do.”

But now that the lawyers have arrived, bearing the threat of hundreds of lawsuits, some say the message has changed. Even as some St. Joseph employees continue to suggest wrongdoing — including its chief of cardiology, who has told at least two patients that his former colleague falsified their records — the hospital’s attorneys appear to be girding for a fight.

In its legal filings, the hospital said it “generally denies all allegations of liability.” And medical malpractice attorneys preparing cases against St. Joseph say hospital lawyers are gathering experts to argue that Midei did nothing improper, despite the hospital having revoked his practice privileges…

“If they’re going to [now] stand by [Midei's] care and say what he did is not negligent and what he did is justified,” Bedigian said in an interview, Midei should “be looking for an employment lawyer.”

RTFA for the thrilling details.

Should I ask whatever happened to nonmaleficence? First, do no harm?

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Written by Ed Campbell

August 31, 2010 at 9:00 am

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