But today's quiz is really gonna grab your attention. It's all about celebrity victims of medical malpractice. That's right - the problem of medical negligence is so bad that even wealthy celebrities who can afford most comforts in life cannot protect themselves from it. So get out those #2 pencils and let’s begin:
1. Who is the Oscar-winning actress whose singing voice was destroyed by medical malpractice?
- Jennifer Hudson
- Julie Andrews
- Barbra Streisand
The answer is "b." In 1997, Julie Andrews underwent surgery at NYC’s Mount Sinai Hospital to remove non-cancerous nodules in her throat after experiencing voice problems while starring on Broadway. The procedure ended her singing career. The hospital settled her lawsuit.
2. Name the rock musician whose injury or death was followed by charges of medical malpractice:
- Eagles co-founder Glenn Frey
- 3 Doors Down guitarist Matt Roberts
- Jefferson Airplane co-founder and singer Marty Balin
- None of the above
- All of the above
The answer if "e" - all of them! Frey died after numerous hospital mistakes surrounding his ulcerative colitis and other medical conditions. Roberts died after overdosing on drugs overprescribed by his doctor. And Balin entered a hospital for heart problems and left with half a tongue, a paralyzed vocal cord and an amputated thumb, ending his career.
3. True or false: Elvis Presley’s doctor, George Nichopoulos, wrote 199 prescriptions totaling over 10,000 doses of sedatives, amphetamines and narcotics to Elvis in the eight months before he died, and was indicted on 14 counts of overprescribing drugs to not only Elvis, but also to singer Jerry Lee Lewis.
That's true. While he was acquitted of criminal charges, Nichopoulos’ Tennessee medical license was eventually stripped for overprescribing addictive drugs to numerous patients for years.
4. Doctors were so busy taking cell phone pictures of which famous comedian/comic actor that they missed the moment vital signs began plummeting?
- Dana Carvey
- Freddie Prinze
- Joan Rivers
- John Ritter
The answer is "c." Joan Rivers died when a New York endoscopy center subjected her numerous unauthorized and unsafe procedures. However, if you guessed any of the other three, you wouldn't be too far off. Each was a medical malpractice victim: SNL veteran Dana Carvey’s heart surgeon operated on the wrong artery, causing serious illness and long-term recovery. Freddie Prinze, the “Chico and the Man” TV star, committed suicide after doctors overprescribed quaaludes and returned a gun to him, which he used to shoot himself. And after collapsing at work, actor John Ritter was misdiagnosed and improperly treated at a hospital, where he died.
5. Which member of a famous singing group of brothers died as a result of medical malpractice?
- Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees
- Zac Hanson of the Hansons
- Michael Jackson of the Jackson Five
- Donnie Osmond of the Osmonds
Trick question. The answer is both "a" and "c." Of course, b and d are still alive and to our knowledge, have not been victims of medical malpractice. However, Maurice Gibb died after a Florida hospital failed to notice that his bowel and intestines were twisted. And as for Michael Jackson, medical malpractice barely describes what happened to him. As many are aware, he died after his doctor, Conrad Murray, gave him a fatal dose of the powerful anesthetic Propofol to help him sleep. Murray was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter, served two years in jail, had his Texas medical license revoked and his California and Nevada licenses suspended.
Bonus question! Which rock drummer just filed a lawsuit against a Santa Monica California medical center for “sticking him at least 40 times … with a dirty needle" and giving him a staph infection leaving him unable “to play the drums, tour and live a normal life?”
- Tommy Lee
- Travis Barker
- Chad Smith
- Max Weinberg
That would be "b, Blink-182’s drummer, Travis Barker. It’s a bonus questions because his story is so recent, it didn’t make it into the Center for Justice & Democracy's new report, the Top 22 Celebrity Victims Of Medical Malpractice! But a bunch of other actors, singers, musicians, broadcasters, sports figures and artists did, including all of the above. Each story is documented by a lawsuit and/or a medical board sanction, so they're real. And Buzzfeed has the full list here, too.