Medical Malpractice and Misdiagnosis
Patients consult medical professionals to get treatment, but there are instances where instead of being treated, they are harmed. This can happen on many medical malpractice instances, such as misdiagnosis. A misdiagnosis occurs when one of the following has happened:
- A healthy person has been diagnosed as sick
- A sick person has been diagnosed as healthy
- A person has been diagnosed with the wrong medical condition
- A person has been diagnosed with the wrong subtype of a medical condition
Failure to properly assess a person may have a variety of consequences that can be detrimental to the patient’s health. For example, a healthy person being diagnosed as sick will receive unnecessary medical treatment. A sick person being diagnosed as healthy may worsen his condition because of the lack of treatment, and this can be particularly dangerous for medical conditions that need immediate attention. A person diagnosed with the wrong medical condition or the wrong subtype of a medical condition will receive inadequate treatment, putting him at risk of wrong medications and unwarranted surgeries.
Misdiagnosis also result into financial damages. What makes this worse is the fact that the financial damage has been done because of an error, meaning that it is unnecessary. Some of the most common financial burdens include hospital bills, medication costs, surgery costs, rehabilitative costs, and lost wages due to hospital confinement and lost time at work.
According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, those who have been wrongly diagnosed may be eligible to pursue a medical malpractice claim against the responsible party.
But how can a medical malpractice claim be viable? Typically, they need to pass the following criteria to be a strong case:
- There is a direct doctor-patient relationship
- The doctor has the duty of care toward the patient
- The duty of care has been violated by the doctor, either through action or inaction
- The violation of the duty of care has resulted into the patient’s harm
The fact that misdiagnosis still happens is alarming, as it puts ordinary people without medical backgrounds to be subject to the medical malpractice instances of those who are supposed to be knowledgeable. It is a good thing that there is a body of law for medical malpractice, as it is a way to deter medical professionals from committing unwarranted mistakes.