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Medical malpractice takes center state at New York theater

This weekend, a New York theater will present “Lady from Limerick,” a play based on the true story of a woman that died from post-plastic surgery complications in 2005. The play is receiving positive reviews because of its neutral approach to medical malpractice and its effects. Instead of vilifying the surgeon that performed the procedure, the play aims to focus on the flaws in the medical system that cause so many people to suffer every year.

The play is the true story of Kathleen Kelly Cregan, an Irish woman who told her family that she was going to a conference in Dublin before flying to New York to undergo plastic surgery. Her intent was to come home with a new look as a surprise for her husband. Instead, she suffered a blood clot after surgery, went into cardiac arrest and eventually passed away.

The doctor that performed Cregan’s surgery had more than 30 medical malpractice settlements at the time of her procedure and death, and was well-known in the local and national media. He reportedly surrendered his medical license in 2008. In 2010, he settled a medical malpractice lawsuit that had been filed against him by Cregan’s family.

But the play does not focus on those statistics. Instead, it aims to put a face to the numbers, telling the story of the patients that suffer as a result of medical errors, and creating opportunity for dialogue among audience members. In fact, there are audience discussions after each of the play’s performances.

Even if you don’t agree with the play’s message, any opportunity to have a thoughtful, constructive conversation about medical malpractice and how to prevent it seems like a step in the right direction.

Source:, “Play examines tragic surgery from patient, doctor perspectives,” Andis Robeznieks, April 16, 2014

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