Bergman Verdict Aftermath
Compassion has received over forty calls, letters, and e-mails from people who have read of the Bergman case. Some were attorneys wishing to consult with our legal director about other cases of undertreated pain, and some calls came from patients whose chronic pain was being poorly managed. However most of the calls come from grieving family members whose loved ones suffered with inadequate palliative care.
Helen Beum, Compassion's Clinical Coordinator refers patients to pain specialists and pain advocacy group in their areas. She listens to their stories, offering a free review of their cases from both a clinical and legal perspective. All of the complaints she hears are similar: patients are elders who were sent home from the hospital to die without pain medications while often pleas for help were disregarded by physicians and staff. The surviving adult children often suffer from reactions to severe stress.
Due to the deluge of calls, Compassion asked two volunteer nurses to help review medical records and confer with patients. All of the callers express deep satisfaction and appreciation, when learning that Compassion is working to bring these case to light, making physicians and other health care providers accountable. Helen is currently assisting the families in filing complaints with medical and nursing boards, Medicare and other appropriate agencies.
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This article was provided by Compassion in Dying. It is a part of the publication Compassion in Dying.