Drivers who drive drunk or drive under the influence of drugs are a danger to everyone around them. If pulled over, they are arrested, charged, and held accountable, even if they manage to get a lawyer to defend them and reduce the sentence/punishment. A surgeon under the same circumstances should also be held accountable. In fact, there are just as many, if not more, legal ramifications for the surgeon as there are for the driver when both are OWI/DUI in their respective positions and places. Here is how a driver in a car with a DUI and legal issues is very similar to a surgeon with an OWI in the surgical suite and legal issues — and what you can do if you find that your surgeon was less than professional.
They Both Know Better
The driver knows he/she is not supposed to drink or do drugs and drive. The surgeon knows he/she is not supposed to operate on a patient when he/she has had a drink or has taken any medication that could affect his/her skills and decision-making processes in the operating room. Both know better, and both should face prosecution. You would not let a drunk driver get away with harming you, so why would you allow your surgeon to get away with it?
There Are Strict Rules for Drivers and Doctors
The law says you cannot operate a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. For doctors, they are not allowed to perform surgeries or make critical decisions under the influence of drugs or alcohol. For the former, there are fines and jail time, depending on the offense. For the latter, it is a medical malpractice case, possible lawsuit, loss of license to practice medicine, financial compensation to the patient hurt in the process, and possibly jail time. Laws to protect others do not discriminate when people use drugs and alcohol and cause harm. The only major differences are the where, the when, and the kind of hurt caused.
Medical Malpractice Law and DUI Laws Exist to Protect YOU
In both types of cases, these laws exist to protect you. You should be able to go out and enjoy an evening out without someone hitting you with his/her car. You should be able to have cosmetic or necessary life-saving surgery without your surgeon cutting the wrong things, removing the wrong parts, or leaving instruments inside you that lead to more infections and more surgeries. If you suspect that your doctor was OWI (operating while intoxicated, literally!), you should hire a medical malpractice lawyer, like those at Shaevitz Shaevitz & Kotzamanis.