Most people are able to get to at least second base with a failure to warn claim. Fewer are able to prove that the doctor simply did not talk to them about that particular risk, although there are cases where a patient’s word has been accepted over a doctor’s insistence that a warning was given. Getting copies of the doctor’s medical notes can help with this element.
For example, John Smith went to his local doctor because he had a black spot on his foot and his leg was painful. His doctor sent him to a surgeon who suggested a special procedure using a needle inserted into his leg artery to see whether the veins in John’s foot were blocked. The surgeon botched the procedure and John’s artery was damaged. Several weeks later John’s leg had to be amputated. When John consulted a lawyer and the lawyer investigated his claim, the lawyer found that John’s original foot condition was gangrene and he was always going to have to have his leg amputated, so the surgeon’s negligence in performing the procedure did not leave John worse off than he would otherwise have been and he fails the test of causation.
In the vast majority of cases, establishing the answer to this question requires testimony from an expert medical witness. The patient (usually through an attorney) consults a doctor who specializes in the relevant field, and the doctor offers an opinion as to the proper procedures to follow when deciding whether to terminate care in cases like the patient's -- and if the proper decision is to end care, the expert will also set out the appropriate way to go about ending the doctor-patient relationship under the circumstances.
I used to have a GP who ran morning surgeries where you could book an appointment or just turn up and wait. It was on the way to work and if there was a queue I would try the following day. The Primary Care Trust closed the surgery because it was inefficient. The students and staff who were the main users of the surgery took on the PCT because we did not agree with this assessment, but the surgery was closed as planned.
Once the complaint has been filed, pre-trial preparation begins with the discovery period. The discovery of facts is often accomplished in 2 different ways: interrogatories and depositions. Interrogatories are questionnaires that witnesses fill out and are typically used for gathering preliminary details. Depositions are face-to-face interviews in which witnesses are sworn in and transcripts of the interviews are transcribed, but they do afford the attorneys the opportunity to ask follow-up questions and gather more in-depth information.
Doctor Mistake, No Injury to Patient – Not all medical errors cause injury to the patient. For example, a doctor may prescribe the incorrect dosage of medication. The patient then takes the wrong dose, has a temporary reaction, and reports it to the doctor or pharmacist. If the error is caught before the patient suffers any serious or lasting injuries, then this would be considered a mistake on the doctor’s fault but would not be considered medical malpractice. The lack of harm to the patient does not erase the fact that the doctor made a serious mistake. In this situation, however, this would not be considered medical malpractice by the doctor because there is no lasting harm to the patient.
Before you sue your doctor for medical malpractice, take some time to consider whether you believe your case meets the threshold for a medical malpractice claim. Did your doctor breach the medical standard of care and did that breach cause you to suffer damages? Be honest with yourself. But for your doctor’s breach of the standard of care, would your injuries have occurred? If your answers are “yes” and “no” to those questions, your case may have a shot. If you can allege, with expert support, that your doctor breached the standard of care, and but for his breach your injuries would not have occurred, your case will likely not be immediately dismissed.
The report by the Indiana Department of Health identified 21 surgeries on the wrong body parts and 4 wrong surgical procedures performed on patients in 2014. The problem is common enough that the federal Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations published a protocol for healthcare providers to follow that includes a “timeout process” to prevent wrong operations and wrong-site surgery. Unfortunately, a fifth of our hospitals have not adopted the protocol.
At my surgery I rang at 8oclock am got through at 8.05to make an appointment to see a woman doctor only to be told that there were no women doctors available so I asked for a male doctor to which the reply from the receptionist was we have no male doctors either to which I replied if you do not get me an appointment I am writing to my local MP with that she had a sit and wait app with a women doc.
I do get fed up with media criticism of a “failing NHS”; it’s not failing – it’s doing an incredibly good job in the circumstances. I also get fed up with my generation being blamed for living too long and putting a strain on the NHS. The failure of planning for the country’s future needs goes back to the early years of this century and cannot be laid at the door of the present government. The government either has to limit the rise in population, or invest in the resources to meet its demands, or do a bit of both. Doing neither has got us to where we are today.
Your attorney should also disclose “bad facts” in the opening statement. A bad fact is anything the defense would want to bring to the jury’s attention because it makes the defense case much stronger. For example, your failure to follow your doctor’s prescribed treatment is a bad fact. By disclosing bad facts first, your attorney can take the sting out of them.
Still, in a few cases, it is possible to say that the doctor or other medical professional acted so poorly that their behavior was actually criminal. The most common instances are those in which doctors or other medical professionals issue prescriptions to patients in dosages that they know, or should know, could be dangerous. An example of such a prosecution was the doctor who prescribed pain medications to famed pop singer, Michael Jackson. Other examples of criminal misconduct by doctors include surgeons attempting procedures while impaired by drugs or alcohol, or so-called “pill mills” that prescribe medications in volumes that could only be used for illegal distribution.
Doctors must abide by what is called “the duty of informed consent”. This means that a doctor is obligated by law and by professional ethics to warn patients of all known risks of a procedure or course of treatment. If a patient who had been properly informed of risks and potential side-effects would have elected not to proceed, the doctor MAY be liable for medical malpractice. Similarly, if the patient is injured by the procedure – or during the course of treatment – in a way that the doctor should have warned could happen but didn’t, the doctor may be liable for medical malpractice.
Jason Konvicka: Medical malpractice occurs when a health-care provider deviates from the recognized “standard of care” in the treatment of a patient. The “standard of care” is defined as what a reasonably prudent medical provider would or would not have done under the same or similar circumstances. In essence, it boils down to whether the provider was negligent.
While some medical errors are readily apparent, many times a serious hospital error is not immediately obvious. You may have a suspicion that you or your loved one has been harmed by a hospital’s substandard care. In most instances, you will need to have your medical records reviewed by independent medical experts to determine whether a preventable hospital error occurred.
^ William M. Sage, M.D., Margaret Thompson, Cynthia Gorman, Melissa King. [ The Jury's Still Out: A Critical Look at Malpractice Reform], Center for American Progress, June 12, 2008. From the study, "There is no nationwide crisis [...] Malpractice is wrongly blamed for rising health care costs in the United States...Experts have found little correlation between malpractice claim increases and malpractice premium increases. "
A misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis itself is not evidence of negligence. Skillful doctors can and do make diagnostic errors even when using reasonable care. The key is determining whether the doctor acted competently, which involves an evaluation of what the doctor did and did not do in arriving at a diagnosis. This means looking at the "differential diagnosis" method the doctor used in making treatment determinations.
We physicians need to spend out time working with each other to limit abuse and overprescibing when we find it, and educate our patients as best we can regarding our need to limit and taper ceratin medications. While this is unpopular with many patients who are afraid, uneducated or in “pharmacuetical sales themselves”, it is necessary to protect not only them ,but the general public and ourselves. We need to inform legislators so they can make informed legislation, such as commonsense driving laws that do not arrest patients who are stable on mediction for simply driving to work.
Expert witnesses, copies of medical records, deposition and witness fees, medical exams -- all of these things cost money. And if you lose your case, you could very well be on the hook for thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in expenses - depending on your legal fee agreement. Is your case important enough to you that you feel the potential financial benefit outweighs the risk?
Damage: The physical and/or monetary costs to the plaintiff that resulted from negligent acts by the medical provider. An example of damage would be a physician assistant’s failure to diagnose the right medical condition which then caused the patient to become sicker, to spend more money on additional therapy, and to incur lost wages for missing work.
Ex.: Texas has a two-year statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases, and has adopted the continuous treatment rule. If a doctor in Texas causes an injury during surgery, and continues to treat the patient for that injury for 4 more years, then the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the doctor has completed treatment. So, the patient in this example has a total of 6 years to file a lawsuit after the injury was inflicted.
Calitz explains that to bring a successful medical malpractice claim, you need to prove that the treatment you received deviated from a particular “standard of care”, and that it was the deviation (which can be an act or omission) from this standard that resulted in harm. The “standard of care” is defined as what a reasonably prudent medical provider would or would not have done under the same or similar circumstances.
I happen to agree with your statement about there being a possibility for future cancer patients not getting the treatment they need if I was to take further action. But I wonder what exactly makes you assume that I am “living on welfare looking for even more “free money””? Ever consider that my cancer diagnosis wasn’t the only reason I am on disability? And really?? Did you read the post where I said I’m okay with coming off the meds? Its difficult, yes. But i have a choice every day to simply call up any unscrupulous doctor and get a prescription any time I want. I don’t do that. I’m sticking with the doctor who is weening me, because I believe it needs to be done. All you seem to have read was that I want more medicine, when I don’t.
Medical malpractice claims don't only cover errors in diagnosis and treatment. Once you've established a doctor-patient relationship, the doctor owes you a duty of care and treatment with the degree of skill, care, and diligence as possessed by, or expected of, a reasonably competent physician under the same or similar circumstances. Part of that duty of care is to be forthcoming with your diagnosis, treatment options and prognosis, as reasonably competent physicians would not lie to their patients.