The Ruth M. Miller Center honors Ruth M. Miller, who dedicated her life to professional public service and volunteer work in California and Oregon.
12:30 AM, August 9th, 2008
The phone rings – it’s the hospital: “I am sorry to inform you that your partner died about an hour ago.”
Those of you who have had similar losses of a person dear to you who received medical treatment resulting in death, are not alone. I was shocked. I felt isolated and helpless. When I sought comfort I discovered that there must be millions of us out there.
I am with you, and so are the survivors of 250,000 to 440,000 other Americans who die sudden, unexpected deaths each year caused by medical malpractice, medical error, and other failures of due dilligence in treatment. That’s apart from the 100,000 deaths and 2 million injuries from Big Pharma drugs, the use of which is sometimes a major or minor cause of death. We are the uncounted millions of survivors.
No one wants to have to think of themselves as a “victim”. It creates anger that only hurts our state of mind and damages our health. Sudden, expected deaths are horrifying and traumatic – the kind we often never get over. They impact our families and friends. They create an ever widening circle of grieving people, and lives forever changed, in an instant. We never forget. When we take action, we empower ourselves; we honor those who died.
The figures cited are supported by many articles, and confirmed by the U.S. government CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) that cites 300,000 deaths per year – the 3rd greatest cause of deaths in the U.S. Only cardiopulminary related deaths (#1), and cancer (#2) exceed them. The figures for med. mal. deaths are probably under-reported, because reporting such deaths is voluntary in the U.S. The U.S. ranks 15th on a list of 15 developed countries for such deaths.
I am Philip C. Lang, Founding Executive Director of the RMM Center. I have been a licensed health care professional clinician and administrator working with people who have serious/acute health problems ranging from chronic to life threatening for 50 years. We do not wish to attack or demean American Medicine. We want to support it in preventing tragic and unintended deaths from medical malpractice and wrongful death. The RMM Center is necessary because, despite many varied and valid scientifically based papers on causes, and even some suggested interventions, the figures never head downward.
That’s why we need to organize, as a concerned community of experience, become knowledgable, and advocate to improve programs from licensing to bedside care that will ameliorate the problems.
The RMM Center is commited to:
1) EDUCATION – we need to know how, where, when, and why this carnage happens.
2) ADVOCACY – We need to develop strategies for amelioration, what has been done, what can be done, and what works.
3) ALLIANCES – We need to encourage and work to develop alliances to advocate for change.
Information leads to knowledge, knowledge leads to power, power leads to control.
We solicit your support to help us to go forward. Remember, feel, and please help. The RMM Center is a 501(c)3 public benefit, non-profit corporation chartered in the State of Oregon. Your gifts will gladly be acknowledged as tax-deductible donations. Just give us your name and address. Your information will be kept completely confidential. Our address appears at the top of this page. Our federal I.D.: 46-5081-844
We are also developing an educational newsletter that will provide information on a range of professional/scientifically conducted research on the problems, big news stories related to our issue, and commentary. We are a membership organization; your donation, if you so indicate, makes you a member.
This request is our “kickstarter” for action.
Philip C. Lang MSW, LCSW ACSW
Founding Executive Director