Patient abandonment is a unique form of medical malpractice that will require the services of an experienced Kingston medical malpractice attorney to competently prove on behalf of an injured patient.
Patient abandonment for the most part is exactly what it sounds like; a medical professional cut ties with the patient in a manner that amounts to negligence. Just like any other claim against medical professionals, the patient injured by a doctor’s abandonment must prove that specific things occurred.
First and foremost, the patient must prove that a doctor patient relationship did in fact exist between himself or herself and the allegedly bad doctor. For example, the patient made an appointment to see the doctor and was indeed seen by the doctor, or the patient had seen the doctor regularly over a period of time, or what have you.
Medical records can substantiate the claim that a doctor patient relationship existed and the experienced attorney will seek out those records almost immediately when the client asks for help.
Next, there must be proof that the patient was abandoned at a critical stage during his or her medical care. This means that the patient must have still needed the doctor’s services when the doctor took off and refused to treat the patient.
The abandonment must have also been rapid; so rapid in fact that the patient was not given the chance to find another doctor to continue the treatment.
Lastly, there must have been and injury suffered and damages incurred if the patient expects to hold the offending doctor accountable in a court of law. Injuries can be severe and even result in patient death. Damages can be pain and suffering, medical costs, prolonged medical care, and loss of wages.
Patient abandonment happens in many ways. The doctor can refuse to see a patient again for not paying a past due bill. If the patient was expected to be at an urgent office visit, but did not show up, the doctor can be in trouble if he or she did not try to contact the patient. Patients are also abandoned when they presented a question to medical personnel and those people did not transmit that question to the doctor. What does this last point mean?
It means that many types of medical professionals can be held liable for patient abandonment. For example, if a nurse has accepted responsibility over a patient during his or her workday, but fails to take care of her charge, the nurse’s actions could amount to patient abandonment.
The bottom line is that when patients are prematurely and abruptly cut off from the services of a medical professional with whom a relationship has been established, the abandonment can amount to medical malpractice.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.