Many people in Toledo were taught that when they did something wrong they
needed to apologize; to not just say “I’m sorry” but
to really mean it. Although the University of Toledo Medical Center has
apologized to a brother and sister whose lives were turned upside down
by preventable surgical error, it has also asked a judge to throw out
their medical malpractice lawsuit. It seems the hospital hasn’t
apologized like it meant it.
The sister in this story was living with end-stage renal failure and needed
a kidney transplant. Doctors told her that her brother was a match and
he agreed to give her one of his kidneys to save her life, which should
have been a joyous event for everyone. Unfortunately, she never received
her brother’s kidney, as a nurse accidentally threw it out under
the assumption it was medical waste.
While it was fortunate that the young woman was eventually able to get
a kidney from a donor outside of Ohio, she had to go through months of
extra dialysis and constantly wondered if there would ever be another
match. Her lawyer has also said that while there was another match, the
kidney is not as close of a match as her brother’s was, meaning
the young woman may need another kidney transplant in the future.
The siblings’ lawyer has said that while the hospital has apologized
for throwing out the viable kidney, it is seemingly refusing to admit
that it did not act outside of standard care and, thus, should not be
held responsible for medical malpractice.