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May 16, 2004


Killer nurse: hospitals didn't share records

"'What I'm coming to understand is that, short of an actual conviction or revocation of a license, none of that information gets shared,' said Dr. William Cors, chief medical officer at Somerset Medical Center in Somerville, N.J., where Mr. [Charles] Cullen last worked and where, prosecutors say, he may have killed 12 to 15 patients. 'If anything good comes from this, it would be to reform the system where we're prevented from telling one another what we know out of fear, quite frankly, of being sued.' ... Ms. Schantz, at St. Luke's, said, 'There is no record that anyone called here, ever, for any recommendation on him.' And if someone had called? She said she was not sure what the hospital would have said. Hospitals are loath to say anything negative, she acknowledged, adding, 'We're a litigious society.'" (Richard Pérez-Peña, "Hospitals Didn't Share Records of a Nurse Accused in Killings", New York Times, Dec. 17). For more on reference liability, see Aug. 7; discussion of pilot and teacher cases from The Excuse Factory (link now dead). See also Mar. 23, 2000. More: Jan. 29, Mar. 3, Mar. 30.

[cross-posted from Overlawyered, where it ran Dec. 18, 2003]

Posted by Walter Olson at 09:30 PM | TrackBack (0)



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