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Honolulu Hawaii Sexual Abuse Law Blog

List of abusive priests' names released

People in Hawaii and across the country are living with the aftereffects of sexual abuse that they suffered at the hands of priests. For many years, survivors have fought to gain recognition for their trauma and some measure of justice from the Catholic Church. In many cases, priests known to abuse children were simply transferred away from a particular area. Many survivors have called on church officials to release lists of names of clergy known as sexual abusers. In Rhode Island, the Diocese of Providence released a list of deacons, priests and clerics that it said had been the target of credible allegations of child sexual abuse.

The diocese posted a list of 50 names on its website, and it includes 19 priests and deacons who are still alive. Almost all of them have since been removed from the ministry, while one priest resigned his job. Twenty-five dead priests and six religious order clerics and others are also on the list. The document also includes a record of the places where each man worked based on files dating back to 1950. The bishop in the area called the release of the names a "difficult but necessary" step.

Burning in the mouth is not always burning mouth syndrome

A burning in the mouth is a symptom found in many conditions, including dry mouth syndrome, diabetes and anemia. However, many patients in Hawaii and across the U.S. are being diagnosed with burning mouth syndrome the moment doctors realize that this is one of the symptoms. It is a misdiagnosis that leads to some patients never getting the correct treatment. Others have to see several doctors before being correctly diagnosed.

Researchers at the School of Dental Medicine at Case Western Reserve University, together with an international research team, analyzed numerous clinical trials made around the world between 1994 and 2017. They found that many of the patients may have been misdiagnosed because of the way BMS shares symptoms with other conditions.

Medical malpractice: The importance of additional opinions

When you feel sick or suffer a serious injury in Honolulu, one of the first things you do is go to your doctor or a medical facility for diagnosis and treatment. Due to the extensive education, training and high level of expertise they have, you implicitly trust physicians, nurses and other medical personnel with your life. Regardless of the type of care you feel you need or how long you have been a patient of a particular doctor, it is wise to take extra precautions to avoid becoming a medical malpractice victim. 

One action that can significantly reduce the likelihood of negligence and mistakes in your care is for you to seek out additional opinions from other experts in the field. Most errors that occur in the health care field involve diagnostic errors

SBC to focus on change following sex abuse scandal

Sexual abuse by priests is an issue that Hawaii residents and others have likely heard about recently. How to put a stop to such abuse is one of the key topics that will be discussed during the 2019 Southern Baptist Convention, or SBC. A variety of solutions will be considered, such as expelling churches that fail to report abuse or otherwise fail to take reports seriously. There may also be a committee formed that would be responsible for overseeing how claims are handled.

Since the 2018 meeting, reports from newspapers in Texas have indicated that abuse claims have been made for at least 20 years. During that time, roughly 700 people were victims of priests and other leaders who eventually returned to their roles within the church. A report will be issued that includes statements from victims as well as what the church has done wrong in addressing those complaints.

Study of MS misdiagnosis may help improve diagnostic procedures

Multiple sclerosis is frequently misdiagnosed because its symptoms are similar to those of other conditions. These symptoms can also vary from patient to patient. As for how frequently the condition goes unnoticed, this was the subject of a new study conducted by researchers at UCLA and the Cedars-Sinai Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology Center. Hawaii residents may be interested in the results.

Researchers looked at 241 cases of patients who were diagnosed with MS and referred to the UCLA or Cedars-Sinai MS clinic. After 12 months of analysis, they found that 18% of the patients had been misdiagnosed. Of these, 72% received MS treatment, and of these, 48% underwent therapies with the chance of developing dangerous side effects.

New regulations for abuse investigations are issued by the Pope

Pope Francis has taken it upon himself to issue new regulations for reporting and investigating allegations of sexual abuse by those within the Catholic Church in Hawaii and around the world. The edict came after a February conference on the subject that was attended by numerous bishops and cardinals throughout the world.

The conference was held to remedy a problem that has plagued the church for decades. For years, some people believed the Vatican procedures for investigating sexual abuse were inadequate. The new papal directive requires the dioceses of the church to report allegations of sexual abuse to the Vatican immediately. The Vatican will have 30 to determine if further investigation is warranted. If an investigation is conducted, it must be completed within 90 days.

Study finds most schizophrenia patients only suffer from anxiety

The results of a recent study suggest that more than half of the people in Hawaii and throughout the country who are diagnosed with schizophrenia each year may only suffer from anxiety. A team of researchers from Johns Hopkins University studied the cases of 54 patients who were referred to a Baltimore clinic after being diagnosed with schizophrenia by a general practitioner, and they found that only 26 of them actually suffered from the condition. Most of the patients were eventually diagnosed with either anxiety or some sort of mood disorder.

The Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America provides general practitioners with a list of five symptoms that must be present before schizophrenia can be diagnosed. They include hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech patterns and catatonic behavior. The problem facing doctors is that patients suffering from anxiety often exaggerate their symptoms and may appear schizophrenic to medical practitioners who lack specialized training. Another challenge is that most of the symptoms of schizophrenia are common to a host of other psychological disorders.

How to avoid cosmetic medical malpractice

The number of Americans pursuing cosmetic surgery has only increased in recent years. The total number of cosmetic surgeries in the United States increased by 1% from 2017 to 2018, with the most popular treatments being eyelid surgery, breast augmentation, liposuction and tummy tuck. 

Although cosmetic surgery does not correct life-threatening ailments, it does come with its risks. The surgeon can still make an error, and if that ever happens to you or a loved one, then you need to pursue a medical malpractice claim. However, you always want to try to avoid your risk when possible. You can take some steps prior to the operation to dramatically reduce your chances of a cosmetic surgery mistake. 

Victims recount sexual abuse by nuns.

Much has been made of the sexual abuse scandal of Catholic priests. Stories of abuse going back decades have been published in the national news as well as in Hawaii. Over the past 50 years, there have been over 10,000 accusations of sexually predatory behavior involving several thousand priests.

Allegations against nuns in the Catholic Church are not nearly as prevalent, but they do exist. Credible allegations against more than 100 nuns have been identified to date. But they are treated differently than against priests. The Church has not taken responsibility for misconduct by nuns and has left investigations to their separate orders.

Reports find misdiagnosis behind majority of malpractice claims

Diagnostic errors have long been known to be a leading factor in malpractice among hospitalized patients. However, separate reports from two malpractice insurers have found that such mistakes are behind the majority of all medical malpractice claims. Residents of Hawaii may be interested to know the conclusions of these reports.

Coverys, reviewing 1,800 claims that were closed against physicians between 2013 and 2017, found that 46 percent involved a misdiagnosis. Forty-five percent of the patients in these claims died. Inadequate patient assessments were the top allegation. For example, many primary care providers failed to capture a complete family history or perform a complete physical exam.

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