By Richard A. Silver
A recent USA Today and Naples Daily News article headlined “Florida plastic surgery clinics cut prices, boost ads, and eight women died” (February 1, 2019) lays out in painful detail the life-threatening consequences of states failing to regularly and thoroughly inspect healthcare facilities.
According to the article, a Miami physician built a national plastic surgery business using aggressive marketing tactics and discounts that targeted working class minority women from around the country. So far, eight women, most of them young mothers, have died because of alleged medical errors at the clinic founded and overseen by Dr. Ismael Labrador.
There is no reason the death toll should have reached these heights. All deaths tied to surgery centers are supposed to be reported to the state health department, which is supposed to investigate them in a timely manner. Only then can troubling evidence of critical breakdowns in care be assessed and corrected so that the standard of care is followed and so that physicians and facilities are held responsible for their actions.
The public needs to be made aware of physicians and facilities that have a troubled past, including companies that close and then reopen under a new name – like Dr. Labrador’s Vanity Cosmetic Surgery reopening as Eres Plastic Surgery.
Why doesn’t the National Practitioner Data Bank function as it should as an accurate, updated national database that collects instances of medical malpractice and then makes this information freely available and easily accessible to the public? Isn’t it worth the effort if it saves even one life?
Richard A. Silver
Silver Golub & Teitell LLP