This article by CNN in their series, the Empowered Patient makes what I believe is an extremely important point if you do not want to be the victim of medical negligence: don’t be a good patient. Don’t simply go along passively with whatever your doctor recommends. Ask questions. Be proactive. If something doesn’t sound right, it probably isn’t. If you don’t get answers to your questions, go somewhere else for answers. Research your condition. Know what the treatment options are.
This goes for those whom you care for as well. Parents, children, sibling. Get involved. I once heard a nurse derisively refer to the mother of a sick child as a “scribbler.” By that, she meant a family member who constantly took notes on what was going on. Nurses generally don’t like scribblers. But you can bet that, if it is their child or their parent who is sick, that nurse will become a scribbler too.
Take action, be proactive and be informed. You are a consumer of medical services. You’d do research about what kind of car or computer or TV to buy. You should do the same thing with your medical care.