Why Failure to Diagnose Cancer Could be Considered Medical Malpractice
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
Medical malpractice refers to any instance when a healthcare professional or medical provider deviates from the standard of care. The standard of care, in this case, essentially means any type of medical decision, treatment, or response that a medical professional in the same field with similar training would reasonably do in the same situation. Medical malpractice occurs both through negligence and omission, and always results in injury to a patient either in the form of a new injury or the worsening of an old injury or condition. There are many types of medical malpractice, including doctor errors, bacterial infections, misdiagnosis, medical negligence, failure to diagnose, delay in diagnosis, and surgical errors such as operating on the wrong body part or leaving objects in the body after surgery.
Failure to diagnose is not as widely discussed as some other forms of medical malpractice, but can have equally severe consequences.
For example, when a doctor fails to or delays taking action that another doctor would reasonably have done in the same situation, such as ordering a test to see if a cancer exists, and a patient’s health worsens or the stage of their cancer increases as a result, this is considered medical malpractice. Unfortunately, failure to diagnose is a common type of medical malpractice with cancer patients, and can result in a patient not receiving the care they need in time to have the impact it otherwise would have. This also includes delays to diagnose, when the diagnosis is made later than it should have.
Depending on the situation, various parties could be responsible for medical malpractice in the form of failure to diagnose.
If a doctor failed to order a biopsy or other diagnostic test that could have located or identified the cancer in a patient, and another doctor with similar training in the same field would have done so in the same situation, this doctor could be held liable for any damages resulting in a worsening of the patient’s cancer. However, in some situations a doctor might order these tests, but the technician responsible for performing the test or reading the results does so inaccurately, in which case the technician would be liable for the patient’s damages.
If you suspect you might have suffered from medical malpractice, contact an attorney.
While the majority of doctors are highly-trained professionals, dedicated to the health of their patients, malpractice continues to occur and should not be overlooked. Unfortunately, the medical industry has been criticized for not putting enough safeguards in-place to police malpractice amongst its members, so it’s important for victims of malpractice to report the incident and take legal action. Medical professionals who have not been held accountable for malpractice have been proven to commit the same malpractice again. This is why it’s important for victims of medical malpractice and their families to take action, potentially protecting hundreds of future patients from suffering the same way.
If you suspect the severity of your own or a loved one’s cancer was worsened by a failure to or delay in diagnosis, you could be eligible to file a medical malpractice claim and should talk to an attorney to discuss your eligibility for compensation. To learn more about failure to diagnose or another type of medical malpractice, seek legal counsel.