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Med Mal Creates Unlikely Safety Teams

Posted May 30, 2007 4:52 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Stereotypically, those injured or killed by medical errors and their family members sue for redress. But some victims and their relatives are banding together in partnership with representatives of the very medical facility where the problems occurred, seeking to improve the situation for other patients.

Sorrel King, for instance, and her husband used part of a settlement by Johns Hopkins Children's Center concerning the death of their 18-month-old daughter to fund a children's safety program at the Baltimore-based facility, reports the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.). They also created a foundation in the name of their little girl, to help promote patient safety at other hospitals. The ascendancy of the Internet Age has helped make it easier for the Josie King Foundation and other organizations like it to gain support and promote their concerns.

"The day Josie died, it hit me so hard it was like being struck by lightning," says King, a stay-at-home mom with four other children. "For months and years I kept searching for a reason, and gradually I began to see that there was one. ... I realized I could make a little bit of difference. They all know there is a problem, and they want desperately to solve it."

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