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Woman Scarred by Medical Mistake Takes on Tort Reform

Feb 3, 2003 | AP

For Linda McDougal, the mornings are the worst.

The Woodville woman is still recovering a double mastectomy she shouldn't have had.

McDougal underwent the surgery after doctors informed her in May that she had an aggressive form of cancer.

The diagnosis was based on a biopsy. But the a lab mix-up confused McDougal's tissue with another woman's.

It was only after the operation that McDougal's surgeon discovered she didn't have cancer at all.

McDougal says she does most of her crying in the morning when she looks at the 31 inches worth of incisions across her chest. She says she looks like something out the "Night of the Living Dead" movie.

McDougal suffered silently until she learned about movements to limit jury awards in medical malpractice lawsuits.

Now she's come forward to oppose President Bush's plan that would limit non-economic damages such as pain and suffering to 250,000 dollars.

She's also considering a lawsuit against the pathology group responsible for the mix-up.

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