Failing to Diagnose Cancer is Medical Malpractice

John Fisher
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Stopping Medical Injustice

Medical malpractice occurs under many different circumstances.  It could be due to negligent acts during child birth, medication errors, surgical mistakes, and or as a result of delayed diagnoses or misdiagnoses. 

Experienced medical malpractice attorneys understand that medical malpractice suits require an especially keen mind.  Only the experienced attorney will be able to spot all of the issues that which surround your case. 

Medical malpractice comes about when a medical professional commits an act or omission that deviates from the standard of care required by the profession.  Not the profession of medicine as a whole, but within the specialization practiced by the offending medical professional.  Moreover, the offending doctor is judged on the basis of the standards within the geographic community in which he or she was practicing at the time of the alleged medical negligence. 

The two most important parts of a medical professional’s job is to properly diagnose and properly treat the patient.  Even with modern technology, diagnoses are not easy to conclude because there is always a human element in determining the proper diagnoses.

Consider determining whether or not a woman has breast cancer.  The initial suspicion can arise from a woman’s self exam, which would be followed by a physician’s physical exam.  If the physician feels that an abnormality exists, a mammogram can be ordered.  Women should not fear mammograms, they are simply x-rays.

But the x-ray must be properly read and follow up exams must confirm the results.  Two basic things can go wrong when the x-ray is analyzed; there would be a false-positive result, or there could be a false-negative result.

Let’s deal with the false positive result.  A false positive might at first seem like a blessing; the patient thought that she had breast cancer, but then turned out to have a clean bill of health.  In actuality, many patients experience severe emotional reactions to being diagnosed with cancer; depression, anxiety, and the like.  Moreover, a false positive reading will trigger more tests, doctor’s visits, lost work, lost income, money spent on medical care that which would not have been spent had the medical professional properly diagnosed the patient. 

False negative results could have greater consequences because the cancer continues to grow without medical intervention.  The problem is larger than one might think.  In fact, roughly 20% of screening mammograms miss the presence of breast cancer.  Younger women are more susceptible to having a false negative result. 

Experienced medical malpractice attorneys know that if the false positive or false negative result was attributable to a deviation in the required standard of care, the treating medical professional can be held liable for the patient’s damages if the deviation caused the patient injury and damages. 

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

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