Taking a Stand is a true story about Janet, a sixteen-year-old girl who trusted her orthopedic surgeons through ten knee surgeries. She believed her doctors when they told her that her poor surgical outcome was due to the way God made her. Conquering the seeming impossible, she rose from her wheelchair, faced the parallel bars, and met her challenge—walking!
Fifteen years later one of her doctors confessed, divulging the truth regarding the cause of her condition and the need for her repeated surgeries. Her doctors had made a gross mistake during the original surgery. Janet's additional surgeries were due to medical malpractice, concealment, and fraud. Janet and her parents had been lied to and an entire year of her medical records had been removed from her file. Additional medical records had been purged and Janet's x-rays were mysteriously missing to cover the truth.
What do you do when you discover your life has been forever changed and you must now live with the consequences of someone else's mistakes and sin? How do you quench the anger that blazes? To some, this anger is looked upon as positive—energy to fuel the injured in his efforts for justice rather than an inferno that chars one's soul. The world's view of living with a disability or loss of a loved one due to medical negligence or "the fault of another" tends to be perceived as a life-long sentence rather than a life that expects God's blessings in bringing good out of evil.
Janet wrestled with the decision whether or not to sue her doctors. Through many trips to the courthouse, she uncovered alarming facts that put her community at risk. She discovered that, combined, her doctors had been sued more than fifty times, yet they continued to practice medicine. Janet determined to take her case to trial. She vowed to do everything she could to prevent her doctors from hurting another person.
But just how easy is it to sue a doctor? Though lawyers are in abundance, who would jump at the chance to represent a client with a fifteen-year Statute of Limitations problem? Who would want to take on a case entangled in a web of lies and sort out the truth of Janet's medical care and ten surgeries? Who could even represent this case with the knowledge that evidence was missing, destroyed and purged? What law firm would gamble the odds and finance such an endeavor? "Sorry," Janet was told over and over again, "our firm can't help you." Finally her determination and persistence won out. A law firm 800 miles away, known for the defense of doctors, agreed to take her case. They agreed to take the risk. They now represented—a plaintiff.
Taking a Stand documents one woman's struggle to hold tight to the promises of God. Through the twists and turns of the legal system, she and her family experienced one jolt after another, fighting an uphill battle through the superior, appellate, and federal courts.
Assembly Bill AB2571, a bill that was born out of her misfortunes, passed both the floor of the Assembly and the Senate with not one "no" vote. With unanimous support, August 31, 2000 AB 2571 was signed into law! No longer can doctors in California conceal their mistakes be shielded from investigation by a statute of limitation. From defeat to victory—God was faithful!
Taking a Stand is for every person who has a serious illness or injury, anyone who has been victimized and betrayed, all who've met physical challenges, battled the legal system, or simply felt like giving up. Taking a Stand will encourage you not to toss in the towel, but to rise above the odds and take a stand for what you believe in!
To learn tangible ways to partner with your doctor to prevent medical mistakes, click here.
To read Janet's testimony, click here.
If you have been injured by a medical mistake and want to read Janet's suggestions on what you can do, click here.
To read facts and statistics about medical malpractice, click here.
To order the Taking A Stand book or CD, click here.
What people are saying about
Taking a Stand
"Taking a Stand is one of the most powerful stories of courage and endurance that I have read in years.
Riveting and engaging, the story kept me intrigued every step of the way. This is not just a medical-malpractice legal thriller; the pages are filled with romance, laughter, disbelief, rage, anger, joy, faith, and perseverance. It is a love story, a story of overcoming obstacles, a story of determination, a story of hope. You can't help feeling as if you are right beside Janet Lynn Mitchell every step of the way, gasping, praying, and wanting to know what could possibly happen next.
Janet's story exposes the many cracks in the medical and judicial system that we trust to protect us. It's shocking but true: Medical malpractice is the eighth most common cause of death in America. Janet offers excellent advice pertaining to the readers' own medical care and how they can partner with their doctors to prevent mistakes.
Thanks to Janet for sharing the pain she has had to endure, both physically and emotionally. We can know for sure that we are not alone . . . that it's all right to be angry, sad, even depressed, and it's okay not to remain silent!
Contrary to popular belief, as Christians, we must take a stand when it comes to injustice. It might just save someone's life."
Lisa J. Williams
Founder of the California Women's Ministry Network
"Janet Mitchell's story is a dynamic testimony to God's faithfulness and grace. In His power, she faces remarkable obstacles and trusts God to bring justice in an unjust situation. Once you begin her story, you won't want to stop. And your faith and trust in God will grow."
Kathy Collard Miller
Speaker and Author
"Janet's story is a true example of how one woman allowed God to heal her anger and then allowed Him to use her life's experience to make a difference for others."
H. Norman Wright
Psychologist, Author, Speaker
"As a reporter for the Orange County Register, I have written many stories that elicited response from readers, but few have generated the kind of overwhelming outpouring as the story of what Janet Mitchell has endured and overcome. Following the release of her story, people from across the nation wanted to share their own tales of woe with Janet Mitchell—her story spoke to them."
The Orange County Register
"You need to know that I've never represented dearer people or a worthier cause, and I am in debt for life for recruiting me."
CAL-ABOTA Trial Lawyer of the Year 2002
"A new law likely would not allow the (Medical) Board to investigate (Janet's doctors) Dr. Allgood and Dr. Ulild. I am impressed that Mitchell is pursuing something that doesn't directly affect her. It's more common to hear from people who suggest (a bill) where they may see some personal benefit, rather than strictly somebody who's not going to get anything out of it."
Assemblyman Bill Campbell
Author of Assembly Bill AB 2571