The Keystone Kops are in charge.

I swear to God these people are idiots. You would think that after all the recent smacking around the President has been receiving at the hands of a less docile media recently that his people would check the backgrounds of the people who are appearing with him at campaign stops.

This time the subject was medical malpractice reform, and the person appearing with the President was " a local doctor, Compton Girdharry... Dr. Girdharry, an obstetrician/gynecologist, said he had been driven from a practice of 21 years by the high cost of malpractice insurance."

Problem is, Dr. Girdharry was driven from practice for good reason--he's apparently incompetent.

Since the early 1990's, he has settled lawsuits and agreed to the payment of damages in a number of malpractice cases in which patients suffered horrible injuries.

"It's been four years since my son passed away, and I don't feel any stronger or any happier than the day I lost him," said Lisa Vitale, whose suit against Dr. Girdharry and a hospital was settled out of court.

During an interview in her home in Alliance, Ms. Vitale said she went into Alliance Community Hospital on the morning of Aug. 17, 1993, for the delivery of her second child.

Her first delivery had been by Caesarean section, but Ms. Vitale said she was told that a vaginal delivery this time would not be a problem. While she was in the delivery room, however, the fetal monitoring strip was not properly checked and, she said, she was left alone and in pain for long periods. Dr. Girdharry stopped by around 6 p.m. and then went to dinner.

No one noticed that the baby was in serious distress.

Dr. Girdharry blamed the ensuing tragedy on the nurse. Ms. Vitale, he told me, "was being monitored by a nurse who was what they call a casual part-time nurse, who was not very well trained in reading fetal monitor strips."

By the time he was called back from dinner, he said, it was "too late" to take the steps, including a Caesarean delivery, that might have prevented permanent injury.

The baby was born with severe brain damage. He was unable to even drink from a bottle. He lived six years and four months, requiring nursing care the entire time.

And then there's this example.
Judy Mays, another patient of Dr. Girdharry, delivered a son by Caesarean section on March 26, 1999. The baby was fine. But, as alleged in a suit filed by Ms. Mays, when the incision was closed, a sponge with a cord and a ring attached to it was left inside....

Dr. Girdharry told me he began operating to remove the sponge but found the damage was worse than he had expected. Another surgeon was called to complete the surgery.

Ms. Mays said she learned after the surgery that part of her large and small intestines had been removed, and that she probably would have died if the sponge had stayed inside her for another month. The surgery, she said, has left her with a variety of permanent ailments.

A White House spokesman told Herbert later that had Girdharry informed them of his past, he wouldn't have been on the podium. You'd think that in this period of heightened security--not to mention potential political embarassment--that the backgrounds of the people doing a photo-op with the President would be fully run.

After all, I'd be willing to bet a significant amount of money that no matter how hard I tried to get a photo op with Bush, it would never happen. I've written too much about him and don't have that kind of money anyway.

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