October 23, 2019

$9 Million Awarded to Parents of Alabama Student who Died From Birth Control Complications

Credit: Beatrice Murch / Flickr
Hope Johnson died from complications resulting from a birth control prescription she shouldn't have received and failure on the part of urgent care doctors to use her medical history to diagnose the problem. Hope's gynecologist prescribed hormonal birth control despite her blood test showing that she was at high risk for blood clots. Doctors did not file the test correctly, so she took the prescribed medication.

About a month later, she arrived at urgent care with shortness of breath, chest pain, headache, and a sore throat. She was diagnosed with bronchitis and given antibiotics. She came back the next day with worse symptoms and was given an inhaler. The doctor treating her was not given login credentials and was told to treat patients without using their medical histories. Hope died the following day.

Brett Turnbull, the attorney representing Johnson's family in the medical malpractice lawsuit, said, “Hope’s death is tragic because it was entirely preventable. We don’t know the exact number of patients seen that day, but it was too many. Patient well-being, not profits, should be the primary goal of healthcare.”