Retired Surgeon Admits to Lying Under Oath in Medical Malpractice Case
Posted on behalf of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Sep 26, 2016 in Medical Malpractice
Dr. Lars Aanning, a retired surgeon, recently wrote a column in The Yankton County Observer in which he admitted that he lied under oath to protect a partner who was on trial for medical malpractice nearly 20 years ago.
When Aanning was called as a witness and asked if he knew of a time when his partner's work was substandard, he said no. However, he had questions about his partner's skills in his own mind, as some of the partner's patients had suffered injuries after he operated on them.
It is unclear how much Aanning's testimony influenced the outcome of the trial – the jury sided in his partner's favor – but he said in the article that he has been haunted by his testimony ever since he gave it, almost two decades ago.
Unfortunately, we may never know how often doctors lie under oath like Aanning did. However, Aanning's admission highlights the degree to which doctors feel the need to protect their colleagues.
In an interview with ProPublica, an independent news organization, Aanning said there is a lot of pressure in the medical community to protect other doctors and not criticize their work. He said that there is a prevailing view that attorneys are the enemy and anything you do to prevent attorneys from suing your colleagues is OK.
ProPublica research backs up the idea that doctors are afraid to speak up about mistakes and tell patients the truth if they are injured. The news organization has interviewed many doctors and nurses who said they are afraid of being retaliated against for speaking about problems with patient safety.
Also, since 2012, ProPublica has surveyed 1,000 people in all 50 states to find out how medical providers dealt with injuries or medical errors. Just one in five respondents said that medical providers admitted that harm occurred.
In about half of those cases, providers and facilities only disclosed errors after being pressured to do so, sometimes with a complaint or lawsuit.
Have you or a loved one suffered a severe injury or been killed due to medical malpractice? The skilled medical malpractice lawyers at D'Amico & Pettinicchi will fight for your rights. If you are entitled compensation, we will not settle for any amount that is less than fair.