The practice of medicine has evolved over the course of millennia. But it wasn’t really a professional science in the strict sense until the twentieth century. At that time, the profession was reformed, procedures were established, gaining access to professional credentials was made more rigorous, and many more reforms were made.
Most importantly, experienced medical malpractice attorneys know that medical professionals must follow specific procedures and protocols set forth by the profession when treating patients. The standards of treatment will vary depending upon the patient’s malady. It will vary by specialty, and it will vary depending upon the community in which the medical professional practices. The latter point is due to the fact that the tools and facilities available to doctors vary from place to place; urban centers may have more advanced technology available as compared to rural doctors.
Think of the doctor’s standard of care as being like an instruction sheet. The medical professional must stay within a reasonable range of the instructions when taking care of a patient. If the doctor deviates from such care, actionable negligence can arise.
First, there must be a doctor patient relationship. Second there must have been a deviation or breach of the standard of care. Put another way, there is a breach if another doctor in the community faced with similar circumstances would not have done what the offending doctor did, than there is a deviation.
Such is not enough to support a law suit, however. The deviation must have caused the plaintiff some sort of injury. And lastly, the injury must have led to damages.
The point of this post is to explicitly make you aware that when a doctor misdiagnoses your illness, he or she has committed an act of negligence. It is the responsibility of the doctor to properly diagnose your illness and subsequently treat it properly. If another doctor would have made the correct diagnosis and your doctor failed to because he or she deviated from the standard of care, medical malpractice has happened.
In fact, misdiagnosis is common. It happens in every village, town, city, and county in New York State. The effects can be devastating to a patient’s health. Remember, a misdiagnosis can lead to receiving treatment that was unnecessary, including unnecessary medications that carry harmful side effects. Costs paid would also be unnecessary.
Perhaps more problematic is the fact that the patient’s true illness was not diagnosed and has gone untreated. Obviously, the longer an illness or disease goes untreated, the more harmful it is to the patient. At some point and depending on the illness, there is a point at which he or she will never fully recover from the untreated illness.
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.