Basically it is positive that the Smalhout Foundation has organized this evening about Medical Errors.
It was impressive but very, very sad to see and hear Adrienne Cullen deliver her lecture about the medical error by doctors of the UMCU, which will cause her to die unnecessary soon……
Her cervical cancer diagnosis was not communicated to her for two years….and thus not treated in time….
Apparently a huge resonsibility by the department of pathology to communicate and follow-up a serious diagnosis was not met, nor by the responsible gynaecologists of the UMCU.
Again shocking to hear about the lack of empathy, lack of openness, lack of honesty, lack of integrity by the Board of the hospital, dr Jan Kimpen and later dr Margriet Schneider and the lack of willingness to investigate the causes of the medical errorr. Only in 2018 the UMCU agreed to investigate….
Again shocking to hear about the pressure of UMCU to accept a gagging clause, which Adrienne refused.
Again shocking to hear that it was necessary to go to the media in order to have a sort of proper amount of compensation. Of course the fact that her husband is a journalist has been important to finally get a better result.
However at the evening in the Balie there were plenty of warningssigns to alert the public and now the reader that this Smalhout foundation maybe has a different agenda, than expected.
It was remarkable that they invited Ineke van Baalen- Sybesma (yes married to politician Hans van Baalen VVD member of the European Parliament) who has a degree in Hotel Management. Ineke is director of Fonds Slachtofferhulp and suddenly has become a so called expert on victims of medical errors.
She did refer shortly to research done by Prof. J. van Dijk, criminologist, who on the initiative of Sophie Hankes, LL.M. chair of the foudation SIN-NL, included the group of victims of medical errors in his research on the position of victims in Dutch society, 2009.
Fonds Slachtofferhulp chooses to send the victims of medical errors into the jungle, with the guidance of patientcoaches. We can assure you that all roads will be dead ends, unless the victim has strong medical reports, stating that a doctor is responsible for a serious medical error. Unfortunately the majority of doctors stick to their self imposed code of silence to coverup errors by colleagues.
Professional allegiance is more important than the suffering of victims of medical errors and their relatives…..
Prof Scherder, a very fluent speaker, could only point out general consequences of stress, lacked knowledge about the position of victims of medical errors, but stressed the importance of acknowledgment of the error, which doctors usually refuse……
The panel discussion with Jan Jaap Erwich prof. gynacology UMCG, Bart Nijman, gp Amsterdam and Rob Florijn (former CEO Diakonessenhuis Utrecht and now director of the Forensic Institute) and Adrienne Cullen was chaotic and hardly informative.
However it was noteworthy that Erwich confirmed that doctors are obliged to inform the patient that a medical error had occurred and did confirm loud and clear that doctors have to inform the patient also that a colleague made a medical error. Sophie Hankes, SIN-NL asked him to tell neurologist Kuks also UMCG that he should inform his patient!!!
Florijn was proud to say that he succeed to arrange payment of compensation under 25.000 euros to several victims or relatives of medical errors. Did these victims had to sign gagging clauses?
Nijman was convinced that the current legal procedures for victims were sufficient.
All doctors stressed and repeated many times the fact that doctors who committed errrors were second victims. They did not tell that most doctors do not inform the patient that he/she made an error, that most doctors refuse diagnotics and even refuse remedial medical care, for fear of accountability.
Most doctors abandon their victims of their relatives in violation of their ethical, professional and legal duty of care.
In the end dr Hans Kraak chair of the Smalhout foundation spoke short about the goals of his foundation.
Last but not least Sophie Hankes, chair of SIN-NL foundation complimented him, but also expressed her concern about the lack of knowledge about protocols how to deal with victims of medical errors.
She invited the foundation to exchange knowledge and ideas about the improvement of the position of victims of medical errors.
More information on Adrienne Cullen and the coverup of the medical error by UMC Utrecht
information on the position of victims of medical errors:
Leemten in de slachtofferhulpverlening 2009 Prof. dr J. van Dijk, criminologist/victomologist
Leemten in de slachtofferhulpverlening vDijk sv mbt slachtoffers medische fouten
Information about protocols how to act after medical errors:
Extreme honesty may be the best policy Dr Steve Kraman: Chief of staff, Lexington, Ky. Veterans Affairs medical center 1999
When things go wrong, responding to adverse events Harvard report 2006
The best response to medical errors? Transparency, The Michigan Model 2016