Fox News Focuses on Dangerous Cruise Ship Medical Care

Fox News 11 (Los Angeles) has published a special investigation into the quality of medical care aboard cruise ships.  The article is entitled "Cruise Ship Medical Care Under Scrutiny."

The article and video below focus on the fate of cruise several passengers, including the daughters of Ken Carver (Merrian Carver), and the daughter of Jamie Barnett (Ashley Barnett), whose parents are left to tell their stories.

Ken Carver is now the Chairman of the International Cruise Victims organization (ICV) which he founded over five years ago following the disappearance of his daughter.  When he tried to investigate what happened, the cruise line (Royal Caribbean / Celebrity Cruises) engaged in a cover-up.  He created the ICV to organize the families of hundreds of passengers who are victims of cruise ship malpractice, crime and lack of responsibility.

Jamie Barnett lost her daughter due to the medical negligence of Carnival which defended the delayed and bad medical treatment by claiming that the cruise ship doctor and nurses were "independent contractors" for whom Carnival was not responsible.  Ms. Barnett's experiences with Carnival led her to join the ICV.  She is now the president of the ICV.  

Mr. Carver and Ms. Barnett have both testified before legislative bodies in an effort to improve safety aboard foreign flagged cruise ships.  They last appeared before a California Assembly just two weeks ago in a successful effort to introduce a bill to make cruising out of California safer.

In watching the video, remember that if the cruise ship doctor kills or maims a family member during a cruise, the cruise line will deny all liability and you will be faced with trying to seek compensation against a foreign doctor living somewhere in Africa or South America.  Unlike the U.S. doctor who appeared on behalf of the cruise industry in this video, over 95% of cruise ship doctors are not educated, trained, or licensed in the U.S.  

 

 

May 13th Update:  After this aired, the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA), the trade organization for the cruise industry, telephoned Fox News 11, and complained that the U.S. cruise doctor CLIA arranged for the video should have been given more air time. 

November 11, 2014 Update: Breaking News! Cruise passengers are now permitted to sue the cruise lines for medical negligence. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal ruled that cruise lines are no longer permitted to assert an "immunity defense" when their ship doctors and nurses commit medical malpractice. Read: 11th Circuit Rejects Cruise Lines' Immunity Defense to Medical Malpractice Claims. Contact us for further information.

 

Credits:

Fox News 11 (Los Angeles)

Reporter Christine Devine

Video Producer Heidi Cuda

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Comments (3) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Gabs - May 13, 2011 10:24 AM

Jim, I just wanted to make something clear. Just because a doctor is not trained in the US (ie. "Africa or South America") does not make them poorly qualified. We should be looking at what kind of individual qualifications the doctors that do get hired on cruise ships have.

Also, in my experience as crew member, the vast majority of doctors I've met are from Eastern Europe and nurses from South Africa and Philipines. Again, that does not go against the kind of training that professionals may get there.

Jim Walker - May 13, 2011 4:01 PM

Gabs:

No offense to crewmembers or doctors from Eastern Europe. The crewmember friends we know from Bulgaria, Serbia, Romania etc. are highly intelligent, sophisticated and usually speak at least four languages.

But even with good doctors, the ship faciities are limited, the cruise lines like to save money and woud rather give a crewmember an Ibuprofen than prescribe a MRI, and if you're really ill or injured, you get dumped in an island or Mexico.

Thanks for your comment. Regards

jim Waker

Gabs - May 13, 2011 11:41 PM

Hahaha... yup, Ibuprofen IS their answer for everything. I had forgotten about it. I got it for torn ligaments and it was also given to others for migraine, kidney issues, etc. if I remember correctly.

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