Can You Sue a Doctor for the Wrong Diagnosis? What are the common misdiagnosis and who can be sued? Is the often question people ask. The wrong diagnosis otherwise called misdiagnosis. Let’s face the fact wrong diagnosis or misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis of a medical condition or ailment can lead to wrong, delayed or no treatment and wrong administration of drugs to a patient. Which in most cases has proven to be unhealthy, and death treating? Misdiagnosis sometimes can worsen the patient’s condition or may even lead to death treat.
Life is precious and should be valued. The increasing rate of the wrong diagnosis has left many asking “Can you sue a doctor for the wrong diagnosis”?
Let’s face the reality – yea, a health care provider sometimes might compromise the medical standard of care. However, there are times where you a trained medical personal or doctor encounters challenges in identifying the exact medical condition or ailment as many medical unfit symptoms appear similar or occur in the same pattern to another related ailment.
As for the question – can you sue a doctor for wrong diagnosis or misdiagnosis? In health care, misdiagnosis often occurs and to an extent, doctors can be sued for it. Simple – Yes & No. I will back up my answer with the below reasons.
When you can sue a doctor?
You can sue a doctor for the wrong diagnosis only when the following condition or factual evidence exists and it’s proven:
- Medical negligence or compromise – This is when a doctor fails to provide the standard medical care to the patient.
- Existing relationship doctor-patient relationship – the doctor provides medical care to the involved patient.
- Harm to the patient: when a doctor’s medical care attribute to patient injury or harm and sometimes death treating.
Practically, Wrong diagnosis/ misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis by a doctor when it occurs generally leads to the aggravation of the disease. Similarly, if a doctor is mentally unfit due to; family pressure, alcoholism or on drugs during medical care procedure, it affects the procedure. This can be tagged; recklessness. Late referring to a specialist doctor is also under Medical Negligence. If a doctor administers the lethal dose to a patient he can also be sued; as in the 2011 criminal case law.
There are three basic responsibilities of doctors, when you know this you can actually say when a doctor has committed the act of negligence.
- Timely & correct diagnose.
- Administer the best possible treatment.
- Appropriate patient counseling.
When a doctor deviates from the above responsibility, it is called “Medical Negligence”. Though it varies from case to case, having mild, moderate and severe medical negligence. This increases the chances of getting a doctor sued.
Yes, some misdiagnosis is inevitable but can be controlled. Here are the common misdiagnosis by doctors:
- Asthma – wrongly diagnosed as recurring bronchitis.
- Heart Attack – Wrongly diagnosed as indigestion, panic and other related pressure of life.
- Staph Infection – wrongly diagnosed as common flu.
- Cancer – wrongly diagnosed cancer patients can be subjected to chemotherapy and radiation.
- Lymph node inflammation – wrongly diagnosed as appendicitis.
How to Spot Out Wrong Diagnosis: Delayed and Mismanagement of Diagnostic Tests
- Delayed transfer of a patient to a professional specialist.
- Misinterpretation of a lab test result.
- Undetailed investigation of symptoms and their causes.
What you can do in Case of a Misdiagnosis: The Right to Sue a Doctor
When misdiagnosis occurs it’s a sign that the doctor involved didn’t apply or administer the right medical skill that a trained doctor should have demonstrated in the same health condition. In this condition, you can sue the doctor.
Who can be Sued: Are there Medical Professionals who cannot be Sued?
Often times its medical professionals that get sued are physicians and doctors when misdiagnosis occurs. But other medical professionals like nurses, lab techs, etc, can as well be sued if they take part in the negligence of the harmed patients. But they rarely get sued. Also, health care facilities and hospitals as an institution cannot be sued if misdiagnosis occurs.
Can You Sue a Doctor for Wrong Diagnosis: Proofs of Misdiagnosis
To get a doctor sued for misdiagnosis there must be a piece of evidence that proves the doctor’s diagnosis wrong. Here are the common prove you will need to provide in a lawsuit.
- A followed health care procedure that is not necessary.
- Unmannerly exposing the patient to harmful treatment.
- Complication of patient medical condition.
With the above-listed proofs, when presented in a lawsuit the patient can win the case.