Woman goes in for surgery for knee replacements. After the surgery, she complains of intense abdominal pain. After doctors ignore her pleas for help, she dies of a twisted intestine.

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In 2007 Diane Stewart received two knee replacements because of injuries she suffered in a car crash when she was younger.  After the operation she complained of severe  abdominal pain and a doctor was notified by her nurses, but the doctor (who lived just 10 minutes from the hospital) never showed up.  As Diane’s condition worsened she was placed in intensive care.  Her son, himself an M.D., spent the night at the hospital by her side.  The next morning she was pronounced dead. Her son immediately thought something had gone wrong with her care.  An autopsy determined Diane died from a twisted intestine that could have been diagnosed and repaired.    An investigation by the department of public health found key documents had been intentionally removed from Diane’s medical record, including the Nurse’s notes involving the attempt to get a doctor to come in to deal with Diane’s abdominal pain.  Because Diane was 72 years old and not working outside the home, the MICRA cap placed a value on her life to her husband and children at no more than $250,000, an amount that hasn’t changed in 38 years despite the rising value of everything else.

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