Medical Malpractice Lawsuits in Washington D.C.: An Unusual Venue for a Patient Safety Message

A subway station might seem an unusual place to try to educate the public about protecting the rights of injured patients — but maybe not so much when that station is the nearest to the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., and is traveled by thousands of staffers who work on Capitol Hill.

“Tell Congress to put patients first,” the ads say. “There are 98,000 reasons why you should.”

The number refers to an oft-quoted report from the National Academies issued ten years ago that estimated that 98,000 patients died unnecessarily each year from medical errors.

Since then, as this blog has reported, the estimates of preventable deaths have climbed, despite a spate of efforts to make medical care safer.

The new ads are sponsored by the American Association for Justice, the lawyers’ group that includes attorneys like me who represent patients in malpractice lawsuits. The ads are discussed in an article by Elizabeth Olson in the New York Times.

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