July 10th 2005
The sun was shining
on Sunday morning, 21st. November 2004 in North Germany at a small German
town where a momentous meeting took place of the First European
Convention of Patient Support Groups for the innocent victims of medical
errors. This was an historic moment! A line had been drawn in
the sand! In all, seven organisations were represented from six European
countries. It was hosted most professionally and generously by our colleagues
and friends from North Germany. SIN was delighted to have been invited
present emphasised that medical care for the majority in Europe was very
good,but inevitably mistakes will occur and approximately 1% of these
have very serious consequences for the patient causing death or serious
permanent injury .This means that medical errors have caused the
deaths and serious disability of thousands of patients throughout Europe.
These patients are left with very poor quality of life and many are deprived
of their economic livelihood.
During the meeting information
was exchanged on the trauma and probems that were experienced by the victims
of medical errors throughout European countries represented. There was
a remarkable unity and of purpose and empathy between the member groups
of the Convention as it became apparent that iatrogenic patients throughout
Europe were facing similar problems, one of the most worrying being
the difficulty of obtaining diagnostic tests and treatment following a
serious medical error.Others reported intimidation and bullying of patients
as they attempted to obtain truthful medical data.
It was agreed to to
form a common declaration for the protection of iatrogenic patients to
be presented to our respective governments, both national and international.It
was also decided to have future cooperation, so that an independent voice
for patients can be heard all over Europe! Iatrogenic
Europe Unite will give us many more opportunites
to fight for the rights of the damaged patient.
we are strong
Present at Convention:
AMNA - from Northern
Schutzbund from Germany
from Germany ( Bavaria) www.ngm-bayern.de
Patient Focus - Ireland
Sufferers of Iatrogenic
Neglect (SIN) Great Britain
L'Association des Citoyens
Photos of Convention
( Courtesy of L'Association des Citoyens)
It is hoped to
release a joint Declaration shortly. A second meeting for
being planned for July 2005 when decisions will be made about future action.
July 10th 2005
CONVENTION IEU ALLIANCE
3RD. JULY 2005 NETHERLANDS
meeting of IEU Alliance took place on Sunday 3rd. July 2005 in Utrecht,
Netherlands. A new group from Poland ( Primum Non Nocere - First Do No
Harm) attended the meeting. The Declaration, produced as an outcome of
the First Convention, demands that patient's rights be put in statute and
was signed by six countries and these make up the
IEU Alliance. Further decisions were made as to how the IEU would distribute
the Declaration and to which persons and institutions the declaration should
The IEU Alliance is
intending to make sure that the views of damaged patients are taken into
account and to make our concerns known at the highest levels.Too
often decisions are made by medical professionals, administrators and civil
servants without taking into consideration the opinion and expertise of
patients, and in particular the most important expertise and experience
of the iatrogenic patient.
See below photos of
the Seond IEU Convention.
Eire, Germany, Great Britain, Nertherlands,Northern Ireland, Poland
RIGHTS IN STATUTE
During the meeting information was exchanged
on the trauma and problems that were experienced by the victims of medical
errors throughout the European countries represented. There was a remarkable
unity of purpose and empathy between the member groups of the Convention
as it became apparent that iatrogenic patients throughout Europe were facing
What needs to be done?
There should be serious national and international
meetings for dialogue with damaged patients and their support groups concerning
the unnecessary problems facing the iatrogenic patient, the most immediate
one being that of arranging genuine remedial specialist care. The present
culture of ‘denial and cover-up’ needs to be changed to one of ‘openness
and honesty’ when health professionals are able to be truthful with their
The Convention demands that patients should
be fully protected and their rights be put in statute:
Statutory obligation for health professionals
to disclose & report all medical errors and in particular any medical
error that has harmed a patient.
Statutory obligation to give an open, full
and honest disclosure of the occurrence of the medical error,
and the extent of damage sustained by the patient - to the
patient and his/her family.
Statutory obligation to provide genuine
remedial medical care for the iatrogenic victim.
Statutory obligation to provide fair compensation
in case of serious iatrogenic damage – a Victim’s Compensation Fund
Statutory rights to have copies of all manual
and computer coded medical records and to correct them. Statutory obligation
obtain patient’s written permission before release onto any Electronic
Developing national and international systems
of recording medical errors with their root cause analysis and a statutory
obligation to include the patient’s experience.
Developing national and international systems
of improvements of healthcare by preventing medical errors.
The IEU Convention calls upon: National
Governments & Health Authorities;
European Institutions; The World
Health Organisation (WHO) in addition to
National, European and International
Medical Organisations ( Physicians & Surgeons )
…..to fulfil their moral, ethical and
legal responsibilities towards the iatrogenic patient.
This IEU Convention is calling for a culture
change that would be of mutual benefit to both doctor and patient producing
a true healing relationship between the physician and patient.
ONE IS IMMUNE FROM A MEDICAL MISTAKE
IEU Convention 2005
Declaration signed by the following Patient
Support Groups forming the IEU Alliance:
Action on Medical Negligence Association
(AMNA Northern Ireland)
Patientforeningen-Danmark ( Denmark) www.patientforeningen.dk
Deutscher Patienten Schutzbund e.V. ( Germany)
Notgemeinschaft Medizingeschadigter in
Bayern e.V. (Bavaria S. Germany)
Sufferers of Iatrogenic Neglect (SIN Great
Slachtoffers Iatrogene Nalatigheid-Nederland
Who can possibly
disagree with the fundamental justice and reasonableness of the IEU Patients'
Rights in Statute?
Patients' Rights in Statute
are necessary because the victim/relatives
of serious medical errors can experience the following:
due to medical errors are seldom disclosed honestly to
the grieving relatives who are then left in trauma and unable to obtain
Denial of truthful information
the nature and extent of the iatrogenic medical condition. Evasive health
professionals give misleading information because they have difficulty
in coping with the results of the error. Also, they are often forbidden
by their employer and /or medical insurers from disclosing evidence of
damage. This develops into a conspiracy of silence known as a 'cover-up'.
No injury = no law suit.
Great difficulty in
obtaining a full set of correct medical documents: the critical ones
are often missing and some, to the patient's knowledge, have been falsified,
in some cases no records are available.
Derogatory remarks with
unfounded 'psychiatric 'labelling are discovered in medical records. This
results in character assassination with the sole purpose of discrediting
the patient, and can be catastrophic, making it almost impossible for the
patient to access much needed genuine diagnostic and remedial medical care.
This destroys the patient's well-being and in the worse cases puts the
patient's life at risk.
Denial of genuine diagnostics
and treatment effectively blacklists the patient, for to give remedial
care would acknowledge that damage has occurred.
Difficulty of obtaining
or denial of genuine second opinions- the professional 'closing of
the ranks' apparently is an international phenomenon.
Great difficulty in
pursuing the legal route to claim for justifiable compensation because
of the excessive costs; the refusal of most medical experts, save for the
dedicated fe, to speak out against colleagues; and the difficulty in finding
competent medico-legal lawyers. This effectively sabotages any financial
are perceived as being potential litigants - personae no gratae - and
therefore to give them the truth about the medical damage suffered is seen
as giving them valuable information that would allow them to win a law
suit. Therefore the barriers come down.
The professional allegiance
appears to be stronger than allegiance to the vulnerable and innocent patient
for whom both the physicians and surgeons have an ethical and legal commitment
to provide genuine medical care.
The 'Hit & Run'
Phenomenon is Analogous with the Medical Error Situation
July 10th 2005
The ‘Hit and Run’ analogy of the car accident
best describes the medical error situation in which most seriously damaged
patients find themselves. Health professionals, unlike car drivers
who accidentally have an accident resulting in the death and serious maiming
of other road users, have the option of not reporting that a serious
medical accident and death has occurred. In fact they may ignore their
moral and legal obligation to organise genuine remedial care for the injured
victim, so denying that damage has occurred. Any car driver being so irresponsible
would receive a prosecution. The denial of information and the refusal
of genuine remedial care after the occurrence of a medical error is a tragic,
unfortunate, but exact analogic example of the ‘hit and run’
phenomenon after a car accident. The groups of the IEU Alliance believe
that the above constitutes medical abuse of damaged patients and
contravenes Article 25 Universal Declaration of Human Rights United Nations
10/12/48. The Issue of European Human Rights for Patients should also be
Only Patients' Rights in Statute specifically
written with patients and health care in mind, will fully protect
patients against the consequences of a serious medical mistake. These Statutes
will also cause an improvement in the standards of health care because
serious medical errors will be registered and a 'root cause analysis' will
take place, hopefully this will ensure that over time fewer and fewer medical
errors will occur
.Because these Statutes will result in open
and honest disclosure - the relationship between health professional and
patient will benefit as mutual respect and confidence inevitably
grow. The present 'denial & cover-up culture' ruins patient/health
professional relationships and is bad for the psyche of the health
processional and the well-being of patients.
10th July. 2005
SIN's Statement in 'House
Magazine' dated 18th April 2005
Issue No. 1128 Vol 30
SIN presented the case for a 'Victim's
Compensation Fund' and Patients' Rights in Statute!