Patient sues doctor for failure to diagnose

As a preventive measure, many people visit their doctors for a routine physical on an annual basis. During these routine physicals, when patients find out they have a disease or illness, it can be difficult to cope. However, it may be incomprehensible and frustrating to the patients and their families to find out that the illness or disease could have been identified earlier and treated but for the doctor’s failure to diagnose it.

Medical doctors have an on-going duty to provide a reasonable standard of care. Generally, patients benefit from the years of training and experience of a doctor, but doctors can make mistakes. Residents of New Jersey may find it interesting to know that a doctor is suing his personal physician for failure to adequately assess, diagnose or treat his condition, which eventually led to his blindness.

According to the suit filed, the patient brought a lesion on his lower back to the attention of his personal physician and another doctor from whom he was receiving radiation treatment for bone marrow cancer. Despite his concerns, both the doctors failed to adequately assess, diagnose or treat his lesion, which resulted in the blockages of arteries in his eyes and eventually his blindness.

A doctor may be found negligent if he or she fails to treat a medical condition by dismissing the symptoms as minor, temporary or not worthy of treatment. Failure to adequately assess a condition may exacerbate the condition, causing injury. As the case above illustrates, a delay in diagnoses or treatment resulted in harm to the patient and caused his blindness.

Medical care professionals have a duty to provide a reasonable standard of care. In the absence of such care, they may be held liable for failure to take action or for taking the wrong action. An injured party may be able to recover damages such as medical expenses including past, present and future, lost wages, unnecessary pain and suffering and more.

Each case and circumstance is different. If a patient or family of a patient has suffered due to a delay in diagnosis or misdiagnosis, it may be helpful to explore and exhaust all legal options and seek justice for the harm suffered.

Source: WGGB, “Doctor Sues, Blames Own Physicians for Blindness,” Sept. 21, 2012

Posted in: Medical Malpractice