The Facts About Medical Malpractice
Doctors undergo years of schooling and training in order to become a licensed, practicing physician. You would think that after all this education, doctors would be able to accurately diagnose serious diseases, right? Wrong. In fact, misdiagnosis is a serious threat that still plagues us today.
The dangers of misdiagnosis are stark in their health effects. Not only might you be subjected to a powerful treatment that can weaken you even further, but the treatment may not even address the true source of your ill health. For instance, if you are misdiagnosed with cancer and start chemotherapy, the chemo can cause your health to deteriorate while not actually solving your problem. This can make you even sicker.
It is understandable to be confused by the presence of malpractice. You may think that with our leaps and bounds in the medical field, especially with diagnostics, misdiagnosis should be on the decline. However, studies of autopsy results have showed that doctors seriously misdiagnose severe diseases 20% of the time, often resulting in death for the patient. Indeed, this rate has stayed the same since the 1930s.
Doctors say that misdiagnosis often arises because it is difficult to stop a clinical course of action once it starts. For example, if you are diagnosed with a disease that requires powerful, immediate treatment in order to stop its progress as much as possible, chances are that you’ll want to start that treatment very quickly. You may decide to undergo the treatment rather than seek a second opinion in the hopes that your diagnosis is correct. Sometimes, you may feel like it’s better to be safe than sorry.
However, this is not always the case. If you are being treated for the wrong disease, it can make you even worse, as mentioned above with the chemotherapy example. Additionally, once you start treatment for one condition and acknowledge its false presence, it can be difficult to go back and undergo more tests to check for other disorders.
Obviously, better diagnostics aren’t correcting this problem, but what can? Some people mention financial rewards for doctors who correctly diagnose disorders, while others advocated computer software and databases that aid doctors in diagnosis. Perhaps it would be a good idea to require people to get second opinions before beginning a serious course of treatment.
Regardless of possible solutions, doctors still should not make such mistakes in the first place. If you have suffered due to misdiagnosis, you should hold your negligent doctor responsible for this gross act of medical malpractice. For more information regarding your rights, check out the medical malpractice attorneys from Habush Habush & Rottier, S.C., today.