In Memoriam: Ian Malone

Saturday, May 1, 2004

The Center for Justice & Democracy is saddened to report the loss of Ian Malone. Ian, of Everett, Washington, died on May 1, 2004 due to complications from medical malpractice. He was 4 years old.
His family issued the following statement: “Ian’s short life was a constant battle to improve the system for those who will come after him. We will sorely miss his beautiful smile and ready laugh, and are sorry his journey had to end so soon.”
Ian’s case of medical malpractice was tragic. Ian suffered severe brain damage at birth after a doctor used a drug to induce labor even though its manufacturer explicitly warned that the drug should not be used for that purpose. Ian could not hold his head up, suck, swallow or gag properly and required 16 hours of nursing care per day. He got nutrition through a feeding tube in his abdomen, breathed with a ventilator, took medication daily to prevent seizures and needed a sedative to sleep. The family sued the doctor, who already had a number of medical malpractice cases filed against him.
As his father, Dylan, put it, Ian “was a famous little baby who made a mark on Seattle, a mark on politics and a mark on policy.” Ian and his family successfully lobbied the Washington State legislature to pass a Patients’ Bill of Rights bill. Ian was also featured in national television campaigns to advocate a similar measure on the federal level and played a prominent role in Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign.
Dylan and Christine Malone have undergone tremendous personal sacrifices in their crusade to bring greater attention to the plight of medical malpractice and to ensure that other families do not suffer the same kind of negligence that stopped Ian’s life short. Ian’s parents have been particularly active in opposing bills that would cap damages for victims of medical malpractice, including joining CJ&D in Washington to oppose a recent bill (the bill did not pass). The Malones also created a web site,, to share Ian’s story and to educate the public about health care reform.
Ian is survived by his parents, Dylan and Christine Malone, and his three siblings. At the Center for Justice & Democracy, our hearts go out to his loved ones. We will miss him.

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