Emma Mhic Mhathúna settles case for €7.5m

galteeman

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https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/health/terminallyill-emma-mhic-mhathna-settles-case-against-hse-and-us-laboratory-for-75m-37063844.html

If all the people who had misread tests start getting that kind of money will it bankrupt our Health services? Seems like a huge sum of money for 1 person compared to the money available to sort out other issues.
A spokeswoman for the Children's Hospital Group, covering the three children's hospitals in Dublin, said that an additional €9m had been provided to paediatric orthopaedics including scoliosis services in 2018.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/health/children-with-scoliosis-facing-threeyear-delay-to-see-health-specialist-37062433.html
 


silverharp

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it does seem obscene , if the American company is paying the money then it should be primarily a medical fund to help clear up the mess. if money doesn't replace a parent why are they trying to?
 

NYCKY

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Some of the settlement is coming from the US lab company.

The woman has five children, many of them very young who will grow up without a mother. No amount of money can change that or replace her. She has a husband and extended family.

Not sure how long she has, but she is terminally ill. She is only 37 years old and could normally expect 3 or 4 more decades.

At the end of the day, this money is little use to the woman herself.

If it was your mother would it be enough?
 

Fritzbox

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does seem like a lot of money. How are these awards calculated?
 

Dame_Enda

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Its a huge sum of money but its legitimate. You cant put a price on a citizens life.
 

galteeman

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Some of the settlement is coming from the US lab company.

The woman has five children, many of them very young who will grow up without a mother. No amount of money can change that or replace her. She has a husband and extended family.

Not sure how long she has, but she is terminally ill. She is only 37 years old and could normally expect 3 or 4 more decades.

At the end of the day, this money is little use to the woman herself.

If it was your mother would it be enough?
Do you know what the money is actually being awarded for? If it's for an incorrect reading of a smear test then lots of people will want that kind of money now which could amount to billions.
 

silverharp

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Do you know what the money is actually being awarded for? If it's for an incorrect reading of a smear test then lots of people will want that kind of money now which could amount to billions.
probably more to it than that? misreading, figuring out you have misread then trying to cover it up?
 

Telstar 62

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Let all the hysterical, shape throwing opposition bull sh itters explain
themselves if the Cervical Screening system has to be cancelled....:mad:
 

NYCKY

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Do you know what the money is actually being awarded for? If it's for an incorrect reading of a smear test then lots of people will want that kind of money now which could amount to billions.
It's the consequences of the incorrect smear test.

There is a twofold element to these awards, the compensatory element, to the woman, who won't get to grow old with her husband, watch her children grow up and see her grandchildren and to ensure that her five children at least won't have financial worries.

The second element is the punitive piece, to punish the company or the people who were negligent. If there no or little consequences to these mistakes, then companies wouldn't put much effort into making sure that they got things right. Headline risk, increased regulatory scrutiny, lawsuits, etc are all things companies do their best to avoid or minimize and the possibility of punitive action keeps them on their toes.
 

Noble Guardian

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Winning the negligence lottery?
 

top floor

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It's the consequences of the incorrect smear test. ......................

The second element is the punitive piece, to punish the company or the people who were negligent. If there no or little consequences to these mistakes, then companies wouldn't put much effort into making sure that they got things right. Headline risk, increased regulatory scrutiny, lawsuits, etc are all things companies do their best to avoid or minimize and the possibility of punitive action keeps them on their toes.
According to the Sunday Business Post 2 weeks ago a best in the world cervical screening programme would expect a minimum of about 150 false negatives per 100,000 screened. The Irish programme has been screening 300,000 women per year.
So if it manages to be world class it will expect 450 false negatives per year. Even at €1 million per "victim" this adds up. And realistically this will come out of the rest of the Health Budget.
I see where you are coming from in relation to the individual and their families. But the effect will be for people to die or suffer severe damage from being denied treatment in other areas (e.g. scoliosis mentioned above) in order to pay this compensation.
 
D

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According to the Sunday Business Post 2 weeks ago a best in the world cervical screening programme would expect a minimum of about 150 false negatives per 100,000 screened. The Irish programme has been screening 300,000 women per year.
So if it manages to be world class it will expect 450 false negatives per year. Even at €1 million per "victim" this adds up. And realistically this will come out of the rest of the Health Budget.
I see where you are coming from in relation to the individual and their families. But the effect will be for people to die or suffer severe damage from being denied treatment in other areas (e.g. scoliosis mentioned above) in order to pay this compensation.
Another question that arises from your final point would concern the waiting time to see a consultant after a positive test - and I'm not referring to cervical screening specifically. Is the HSE running relatively good screening programmes but without the speed of follow-up that would optimize the value of that screening?
 

galteeman

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According to the Sunday Business Post 2 weeks ago a best in the world cervical screening programme would expect a minimum of about 150 false negatives per 100,000 screened. The Irish programme has been screening 300,000 women per year.
So if it manages to be world class it will expect 450 false negatives per year. Even at €1 million per "victim" this adds up. And realistically this will come out of the rest of the Health Budget.
I see where you are coming from in relation to the individual and their families. But the effect will be for people to die or suffer severe damage from being denied treatment in other areas (e.g. scoliosis mentioned above) in order to pay this compensation.
I don't get it, how are they liable to pay damages if it's perfectly normal practise to have false negative readings?
 

Noble Guardian

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Not every false negative will lead to a terminal diagnosis. This must be what the auditors are banking on when it comes to pay outs of this magnitude.
 

Sync

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According to the Sunday Business Post 2 weeks ago a best in the world cervical screening programme would expect a minimum of about 150 false negatives per 100,000 screened. The Irish programme has been screening 300,000 women per year.
So if it manages to be world class it will expect 450 false negatives per year. Even at €1 million per "victim" this adds up. And realistically this will come out of the rest of the Health Budget.
I see where you are coming from in relation to the individual and their families. But the effect will be for people to die or suffer severe damage from being denied treatment in other areas (e.g. scoliosis mentioned above) in order to pay this compensation.
But this wasn't one missed assessment. It was 3. So if it was a case that they'd missed it once through human error as one of those 450 cases a year, I'd argue there's no negligence and no compensation. People die all the time, the fact that we now have fantastic medical equipment that can identify things that will kill you doesn't mean guaranteed everlasting life.

But 3 misreadings of one sample? That's a different matter.
 

galteeman

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But this wasn't one missed assessment. It was 3. So if it was a case that they'd missed it once through human error as one of those 450 cases a year, I'd argue there's no negligence and no compensation. People die all the time, the fact that we now have fantastic medical equipment that can identify things that will kill you doesn't mean guaranteed everlasting life.

But 3 misreadings of one sample? That's a different matter.
well if there are 450 false readings per 300000 tests the chance of a false negative are 1 in 666. The chance a false negative is given to the same person twice would be 666 x 666 = 1 in 443556 so that is likely to happen every so often too given the huge numbers of tests being carried out.
 
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galteeman

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But this wasn't one missed assessment. It was 3. So if it was a case that they'd missed it once through human error as one of those 450 cases a year, I'd argue there's no negligence and no compensation. People die all the time, the fact that we now have fantastic medical equipment that can identify things that will kill you doesn't mean guaranteed everlasting life.

But 3 misreadings of one sample? That's a different matter.
I think it was 2 false negatives not 3 according to that article. I hope you are correct though about the award being high because of multiple false readings.
 

top floor

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But 3 misreadings of one sample? That's a different matter.
I was not aware of that being the case here.
If so, and if the "abnormality" was blatant then it would qualify as negligence. And hopefully there would be very few like it.
However in some cases my understanding is that these samples are very hard to read and this leads to the majority of false negatives. (Which as you say may not be the case for this unfortunate woman).

But, according to that article I referred to, the precedent exists in the UK in a case that went to the Court of Appeal for the judges to find negligence in three related cases for a type of tumor that the majority of doctors thought was a reasonable (but wrong) judgement call, rather than an obvious error. Patients, judges and politicians may expect a level of accuracy that is not possible in screening and call out all errors as negligent.

Which is not to say that real negligence can also happen.
 

Noble Guardian

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But 3 misreadings of one sample? That's a different matter.
Extremely rare, but it can happen. Sh!tty, but not a personally targeted conspiracy.
 


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