"Dear Dr. Jones,
I write this letter to you letting you know how angry I am that you caused me permanent injury. I think you're horrible.
I think you don't deserve to practice medicine.
I think your New York medical license should be revoked.
Because of you, I am now permanently and forever disabled.
I hate you..."
Imagine if an injured patient were to write this ranting screed and send it off to her doctor.
Imagine the doctor recieving this letter in the mail.
Imagine the patient has already started her lawsuit against this doctor whom she believes violated the basic standards of medical care causing terrible injuries.
Is this ranting letter going to achieve anything?
Is this accusing and long-winded letter going to help her in her lawsuit against the doctor?
Is the doctor going to actually reply to this letter?
Here's what's going through the patient's mind...
She trusted her doctor.
She put her life in his hands.
He was good to her in the past.
He always did right by her.
Except this time, he didn't.
This time, he screwed up.
His carelessness caused her to suffer terrible injury.
Not intentional of course.
Only through sheer negligence.
The doctor's carelessness.
She had nothing to do with it.
She was asleep, under anesthesia, when this happened during surgery.
She had no control over what happened in the operating room.
She was once vibrant, energetic and outgoing.
Now, she's become a hermit. Rarely going out.
She can't work. She can't take care of her kids.
She'll need corrective surgery.
Her new surgeons don't think she'll ever recover.
She used to be highly productive.
Now, she just sits in a darkened living room watching mindless daytime TV.
Every day that goes by she stares out the window wondering what her life would have been like if...
If her doctor had done what he was supposed to do.
If her doctor had treated her in accordance with good medical practice.
She'd get angry thinking about it.
How everything would be different.
How her life would be different.
She gets so mad on some days she just wants to scream.
She wants to yell at the doctor.
She wants him to see what he did to her.
She decides she's going to write him a long letter describing how she feels.
She's not going to hold back.
She's going to tell him everything.
She knows in her mind that the doctor will want to reply.
He'll want to apologize.
He'll want to do what's right and realize what he did.
The reality is that the doctor will do none of those things.
He will read it.
He will get upset.
He will then send that letter to his attorney.
His attorney will tell him not to reply.
He'll tell him to ignore the letter.
His attorney will use that letter during the lawsuit against her to confront her with it at her pretrial deposition and also at trial.