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Shawn Kasserman teaching constitutional lawShawn Kasserman of Tomasik Kotin Kasserman recently had the opportunity to teach constitutional law to the eighth-grade class at Dirksen Elementary School through the Constitutional Rights Foundation’s program, Lawyers in the Classroom. This program partners attorneys throughout the Chicagoland area with local schools to teach constitutional law to children in second through eighth grade. On January 15, 2019, Shawn taught Dirksen’s eighth grade class about the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures in the context of schools. The students discussed possible violations under the Fourth Amendment and debated whether these violations had any merit. 

 

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By Robert Geimer

The U.S. Government has announced it reached a settlement with a New York Hospital over claims the hospital allowed television crews to violate patient privacy.  According to the announcement, New York Presbyterian Hospital will pay $2.2 million in fines for allowing crews of ABC television series “NY Med” virtually “unfettered access” to private patient information and for filming patients in distress without their consent.  The HHS Office of Civil Rights called the violations “egregious.”  As part of the settlement, the hospital will be monitored for two years to ensure that it fully complies with patient privacy.

By Robert Geimer

According to an analysis by Pro Publica, doctors who receive money, gifts and meals from drug companies write prescriptions for name brand drugs at a higher rate than doctors who do not receive money or gifts.  The highest prescribing percentages went to doctors who received more than $5,000 in money or gifts.  Though doctors have long disputed a connection between drug company payments and prescribing habits, this analysis provides proof.  If this were to happen in a different context, it might be considered bribery or a payoff.  But because of the outsized influence and campaign contributions of pharmaceutical and physician groups, it is just “incentive.”

cancer misdiagnosis, Illinois medical malpractice lawyersOne in 20 adults in the United States (approximately 12 million people) are misdiagnosed by their doctors each and every year. At least half of those people could suffer from serious repercussions. For instance, a Journal of American Medical Association published study found that around 20 percent of all medical errors each year involve delayed cancer diagnosis.

Cancers Commonly Misdiagnosed

According to the previously mentioned study, the most common delayed cancer diagnoses are lung, breast, and colorectal cancers; in fact, they make up about 10 percent of all medical errors. The remaining 10 percent are delayed diagnoses of all other cancers. Examples include ovarian cancers, which a NHS survey found an average diagnostic delay of about 90.3 days; non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (delayed by an average of 102.8 days); and prostate cancer (average delay of 148.5 days).

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By Robert Geimer

For many years physicians in training, called residents, worked brutally long shifts, barely sleeping over the course of days.  As the workhorses of medical care in hospitals, this justifiably led to concerns over errors due to the dangerous combination of inexperience and sleep deprivation.  This resulted in rule changes limiting residents to no more than 28 straight hours at the hospital, and 14 hours off after working a 24 hour shift.  However, a study in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine has concluded that the reduced resident hours have not impacted patient safety, and is therefore recommending returning to the brutally long shifts of the past.  Groups such as the American Medical Student Association are opposing such a rollback, pointing to the “overwhelming” evidence of the dangers of sleep deprivation.  In the middle of all of this are hospital patients who expect – and pay for – medical professionals to be at their best.

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