Second Opinions are Necessary to Avoid a Failure to Diagnose and Over-treatment

John Fisher
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Stopping Medical Injustice

Not all medical malpractice is caused by a negligence act, such as improper surgery or surgical mistakes like the slip of a knife or a failed procedure.  Some medical malpractice is actually caused by a failure to act or a failure to do something, such as deciding not to perform surgery.  Other types of medical malpractice is caused by over-treating a patient, such as performing unnecessary surgeries.  


This may surprise some people, but it should not be considering the definition of what the law considers negligence.  Negligence is essentially the breach of a duty causing damages.  Such can be caused by a negligence act or omission which cause the harm.  Thus the improper surgery can be a negligent act, or a failure to perform surgery could be a negligence act.


Over-treatment is actually a very important consideration for a patient to be aware of.  Recent news articles have reported that many breast cancer cases are finding surgery has been unnecessary and even lead to unnecessary injuries or harm to a patient.  Other reports have found that over-treatment in applying stents can actually result in secondary problems such as infections or irreversible injuries which were unnecessarily caused.  


Similarly, when all treatment appears to not be working for a condition, it may because there is a missed diagnosis.  For instance, some back pain can be caused by a fractured vertebra which, if a hairline fracture, could be very difficult to identify.  This is why getting a second opinion is important to review and ensure the x-rays were both taken at the right angle and were read properly.


Many times the failure to diagnose a condition and over-treatment go hand-in-hand.  If a fractured vertebra is missed, that could result in a spinal fusion surgery when really only mobilization in a brace is needed to heal the fracture.  This is both over-treatment and a failure to diagnose.  It could have been remedied by going to a second opinion.


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

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