Monday, April 28, 2014

THE FARCE THAT CAN BE JUSTICE

One would think that after the breast cancer testing scandals in Newfoundland and Labrador that it could not happen again, anywhere in the Western World.  Enter Rachael Rapraeger, 33, a radiologist in Georgia, who falsified more than 1,000 mammograms because she had fallen behind in her work!

Last summer a monument was unveiled to to remember the 400 patients affected by the province's botched breast cancer testing scandal.  The Cameron inquiry uncovered a myriad of issues that contributed to the fiasco that included a  corporate culture of secrecy and damage control, under-qualified lab staff, poor procedures and a lack of quality control.

Shockwaves from the Newfoundland experience  rocked health authorities in other provinces and countries where systematic problems in pathology were uncovered following thorough and comprehensive reviews.

These reviews unveiled poorly calibrated laboratory equipment,  inept pathologists, poor quality control and health-care-professionals that worked in stressful environments that prone to mistakes.

Today we are told that Eastern Health offers pathology tests that meet the highest standards. The culture of secrecy has been replaced by a policy of openness to ensure patients are advised of mistakes as quickly as possible.

A $17.5 settlement was reached with the patients and families of those impacted by the botched tests and the subsequent cover-ups. At least 100 women paid the ultimate price for the incompetence of the corporate culture of secrecy.

Back to Rapraeger who played Russian roulette with the lives of 1,300 women. Earlier this month she plead guilty to reckless conduct and computer forgery. She admitted to assuming the identities of physicians in a hospital computer system to sign off on nearly 1,300 reports stating patients were free from cancer or other abnormalities. She says she faked the records after personal issues caused her to fall far behind on paperwork.

At least two of the women that received false negatives have died, another dozen have cancer. Many more endured unnecessary chemotherapy because of her meddling.

As repugnant as her reckless and unforgivable actions were, the sentencing handed out by the judge was even more disturbing. 

Rapraeger was given six months in a detention center and banned  from working in health care during the 10 years she is on probation!

Had she done something serious, like say been in possession of one ounce of Marijuana, she would have gone to jail for a year!













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