"There but for the grace of God go I," is a phrase that came about simply because tragedy is something that one does not typically expect. It can happen to anyone at any time.
In this case, a prominent heart surgeon, Dr. Lancelot Lester, who spent his career focusing on high risk cases and saved countless lives became a victim of medical error. According to this article in The Palm Beach Post, he suffered a reaction from a high dose of opioids and was not given Narcan (a drug to reverse the effects) for a full 15 minutes after the going into respiratory failure. According to the Post, "by the time the Narcan was administered, Lester’s respiratory collapse had caused a cascade of ills, including cardiac arrest and brain injury that left him in a coma."
Since he is divorced and his children are grown adults, if his death ends up as a result of this gross medical error, notwithstanding whether or not his case can be proven, under today's Florida Free Kill law, there is no possibility that it will be heard in a court of law.
Florida's Wrongful Death act has been dubbed the "free kill law" because while it often costs money to correct or compensate for mistakes, it is does not cost anything in any case of medical wrongful death in the State of Florida if the victim falls into the category of a "Free Kill."
In today's world, where corporations are often found to have their own best interest at heart, accountability is a must. As a community we must question if occurrences like this happen because Florida's Wrongful Death Act fosters a lack of accountability in medical facilities across the state. Florida hospitals are well aware that they can get away with medical errors resulting in death and not have any financial responsibility in many cases because the victims qualify as a free kill. This certainly does not give hospitals an incentive to maintain safe nursing staff levels, update equipment and medication tracking tools.
Who is a Florida Free Kill?
A widowed grandmother or grandfather
A divorcee who's children are grown adults
A high school graduate who has not yet wed
A college student who has not yet gotten married
Any person who is not married and has either no children or children only age 25 or older.
Take this short quiz to find out if you are a Florida free kill today.
Please sign this letter to our Florida State Senators and House Representatives asking them for their attention to this matter. Clicking send will ensure that each one receives a copy from you.