Posted: April 17, 2013

A review recently found that the Wisconsin Medical Board failed to severely discipline doctors who committed egregious errors, many in which patients suffered serious injuries or even death. The report by the State Journal reviewed 218 cases that led to board discipline from 2010 to 2012 and found that in more than half the cases doctors received only a reprimand – likened in many cases to a “slap on the wrist” -- and that in dozens of cases there was no disciplinary action taken at all. That included a case highlighted by the publication in which a patient suffocated and died after being administered at least 100 times too much epinephrine. In that case, the doctor was reprimanded and fined $1,200. Leaders on the medical board were quoted as defending their decisions, saying they preferred to try to rehabilitate doctors rather than punish them for mistakes. They also said limited money and authority sometimes prevented the board from taking more severe disciplinary steps. More about medical malpractice