Coming to Florida? What you should know about the free kill Statute
In light of political and Coronavirus events, many people from what we southerners call "up north" have recently come to Florida either for an extended stay or moved here permanently. Every New Yorker or Pennsylvanian face I see makes me want to educate them about this terrible and law, which is extremely dangerous for roughly half of our residents. I know the Free Kill law is mind blowing, especially because it exists in no other state. Florida is the only one.
If you are looking to holiday here or become a resident, Florida's Free Kill Law is something you should know about. I realize this will sound unbelievable but here goes: Florida Statute 768.21(8) States if a loved one who is unmarried and has no children under age 25 dies due to medical error, none of the remaining survivors are allowed access to a court of law. This law does not care what color you are. You can be black, white, brown, yellow, green or purple. This law only cares if you are not married and have no minor children. Also note that if a physician makes an error, saving your life post mistake could cost a lawsuit, (living means you can sue) but letting you die is totally free.
In honor of those we have loved and lost as victims of Florida's Free Kill law, I have pasted a few of the letters that came in this month within this blog. We receive an average of 10 emails per week from families who have lost a loved one due to the negligence of a medical practitioner in the state of Florida. The families, due to Florida's Free Kill law are unable to seek redress in a court of law. It is a violation of our rights to not be allowed access the courts, and it also creates a lower level of accountability in Florida's health care system.
I have hope that one day we can repeal Florida's Free Kill law and continue to work towards it. If you want to join the fight, and be a part of getting this archaic and evil law repealed, please join our twice monthly zoom meetings. We are a very active group. We meet every other Tuesday night at 7:00 pm. Together we strategize and take action. We speak with legislators, aides and push for media attention. We are making some headway with both a Senate and House Bill this year. The more voices that they hear, the better our chances. We are a group of advocates who will never give up and are determined to win. We know that repealing this law is what is in the best interest for all human beings in our state. Sign up here and you will get a calendar invitation with login info: https://www.floridamedicalrights.org/
I am grateful for every single person who was brave enough to send a letter or reach out to their local public servants. Together our voices have a better chance of being heard.
We Remember Them
"My son was killed by doctors at Riverside Ascension St. Vincent's Hospital in Jacksonville, Fl. He went in for a routine surgery, surgical wound opened up, Doctors & nurses did not take care of the situation properly, he got a severe infection which was not treated an he died as a result." -EA
"My mom died in a hospital of HYPOXIA (lack of oxygen) in Sep 2019 (pre-COVID) because after her CABG (LIMA-To-LAD) surgery, they extubated her within 30 minutes of the end of surgery. Extubation protocol shows that extubating prior to 6 hours is EARLY. My mom was extubated between 17 and 27 minutes after the surgeon recorded the end of surgery.Imagine open heart surgery and then having your breathing tube removed while having no pain medication in your system because the Narcan used to wake you up also prevents pain meds from working. Oh, now start convulsing due to the sedation withdraw and have no way to hold your own chest closed as it expanse with every convulsion.I witnessed my mom\'s agony as I was bedside.I am about to lose the house because of her death and not being able to seek damages." -TC
"Friend’s father died a preventable death but a negligent doctor and he needs to held accountable for his actions! This law is terrible. Florida is better than this!" -TH
"I’m signing this letter because our loved one died as a result of his dr.’s negligence. His death was very preventable and now we are enduring pain and heartache. So sad! So unexpected, and devastating." -SH
"My best friend’s son died last week in a hospital and she can’t get any explanation as to what happened. This law is reprehensible! Our lawmakers should be ashamed of themselves for keeping this on the books just to satisfy the insurance companies and the hospitals." -FT
"I'm signing this letter because my brother died at 31 years old, at this hands of a negligent hospital, and I have no legal recourse to get justice for him." -BA
"I am signing this letter because my 57-year old brother died in a Lee County Florida hospital due to being overmedicated with three (3) opiates in a short time frame. My brother was found lying in his own urine on the bathroom floor of his hospital room. He went in to cardiac arrest, coded twice, and never regained consciousness. The doctors who prescribed these medications, as well as the nurses who administered them, contributed to hastening his demise. In other words, they killed him. I have the proof in black and white - 746 pages of medical records! I am sick. Oh, I forgot to mention, I am a licensed nurse and certified paralegal." -SL
"My mother happens to be one of the victims. Now I have to go the rest of my life fighting to make it right my daughter has to go up with out her grandmother." -MS
"Neglect by 2 Florida hospitals and a rehabilitation facility caused my sister\'s death." -SH
"My 34 year old son Daniel came to the hospital with low sodium count. He was phi betta cappa in engineering with one year left for his degree. On May 6th he entered the hospital. Twice he pulled out the IV and tried to leave. In my conversation with the patient advocate she realizes he had a minor child. Her response " I have to go, I need to let the Dr. know he\'s somebody!" On May 18th the hospital said there was nothing more they could do. They had overdosed our son on sodium, a situation that would have corrected on its own or given Pedalite, either would have saved his life. Our son came home on the 19th. His kidneys started bleeding, liver failing, unable to move or talk, know one had even explained to him what had been going on. He then was unable to swallow and on May 30, 2020 he died.If not for his son, there would be no consequences to what was done. Tell me how can anyone justify a uneducated person driving a car can be sued if causes a accident, but a well educated doctor has no accountability! How does this make sense? Our current policy encourages the worse Doctors to come to Florida to practice medicine!" -RH
"My father lost his life due to hospital negligence. My father developed a infected sacral wound, which led to osteomyelitis, sepsis, and his death. I\'m a nurse and I take great care of my patients. I no longer have my father due to the negligence of other Healthcare workers. We take an oath and a duty to do no harm! Harm was done to my father and this law needs to be changed or this type of behavior will continue! This is really sad and devalues human life!" -TC
"Justice for all" - SAH
May you all have a blessed holiday season, and find all the peace and love that you need.