Three-Way Stop by Pat Conrad MD

From time to time I like to throw out acerbic and scornful judgments regarding what we are pleased to refer to as the “justice” system when it comes to medical malpractice…and voila, a gem from this past week.  Seems one William Martinez was leading a particularly active social life, and and was subsequently summoned to the Great Hereafter, courtesy of a heart attack, occasioned by having a threesome.  Apparently the loss of a 31 year old father of two provided sufficient pull on the heart strings of the jury to find the deceased only – ONLY! – 40% liable for engaging in group sex after he had visited a cardiologist for chest pain.  Conveniently, for the dearly bereaved, the cardiologist’s malpractice firm is still on the hook for the majority of damages sought, a tidy $3 million which should somewhat help to ameliorate the family’s loss.
Was Martinez a smoker?  Had he ever used cocaine?  Did he have any significant family history of coronary disease?  What was his exercise tolerance?  I’m betting that the cardiologist asked these questions.  Did the doctor ask whether the 31 year old man-about-town planned to really rev the ol’ engine over the weekend, and would this fall in the defense’s contention that the deceased was warned about, um, overdoing it?  I don’t know.
I do know that one of the truly lousy aspects of this line of work is always being on the hook for someone else’s behavior.  Don’t cry to me about the cost of medicine when patients and their families continue to receive quite tangible  expressions of sympathy from those who don’t have to pay it, taken from those who did nothing wrong.



Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  2 comments for “Three-Way Stop by Pat Conrad MD

  1. Vance
    June 8, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    Amen, Brother. Very well stated. Stories like this ABOUND. Our country is dying from lack of personal responsibility and political correctness.

  2. June 6, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    The old joke goes that Nelson Rockefeller (72 y.o.) died of hypotension (72/26), while “working on” his personal assistant (26 y.o.). Word up is that they couldn’t close the coffin. did he sue? Not that I heard.

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