119 Penn Statim 1 (2014)

handle is hein.journals/statim119 and id is 1 raw text is: 












The Lasting Legacy of a Case that was

Lost


Steve Cohen*


     Hospitals can  be very  dangerous  places.  Between   44,000  and
98,000  patients are killed every year in hospitals-and many  more are
injured-due   to medical error. A landmark  study, To Err is Human,
conducted  by   the Institute of Medicine   (IOM)   uncovered  these
findings in 1999.'
     Josef Stalin is reputed to have said, A single death is a tragedy; a
million deaths a statistic. The 1984 death of 18-year-old Libby  Zion
was  a personal tragedy for her family. For the next ten years, that death
was  writ large on the public stage-first by criminal investigations, then
by political inquiries, next by regulatory action, and finally by a civil suit
whose  trial was covered gavel-to-gavel by Court  TV.  Today,  medical
education throughout  the United States has changed  dramatically with
regard to the number of hours young interns and residents can work, and
how  much  supervision is required in teaching hospitals. These practices
are guided by what are colloquially known as the Libby Zion rules.

I. ONE NIGHT
     In March   1984, Libby Zion  was  a Bennington  College freshman
living at home in New   York during the Vermont   school's winter-work
term.  She was just finishing up an internship in the office of Manhattan


    *  Steve Cohen is an Associate at Kramer Dillof Livingston & Moore in New York.
Before completing law school and passing the Bar at age 62, he was a publisher at Time
and Scholastic, and was CEO of three digital media start-ups. He is the author of six
books and a regular contributor to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, City
Journal, and other publications. He co-chaired the Clinton White House task force The
Prescription for Reading Partnership and served as a Director of the United States Naval
Institute and Reach Out and Read. He attended the United States Naval Academy and
received his A.B from Brown University and his JD cum laude from New York Law
School.
    1. INST. OF MED., To ERR is HUMAN: BUILDING A SAFER HEALTH SYSTEM 1 (Mike
Edington ed. 1999).


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