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An introduction to failed diagnosis and the law

Failed diagnosis and failure to treat medical conditions can often have tragic consequences. It can also come as a great shock to the loved ones of those affected, because we tend to trust doctors and medical practitioners to a strong degree.

When doctors and surgeons make a mistake, it can feel like an unforgivable act, because of their high level of responsibility. That's why there are many laws in place to try to mitigate the mistakes made, and hold those accountable to legal action.

Misdiagnosis of a medical condition

Misdiagnosis under the law is defined as a failure to diagnose a disease that has resulted in injury, disease progression or death. It can't be possible all of the time for a doctor to make an accurate diagnosis, since it could be something unforeseeable. However, when a lawyer assesses the situation, they will ask whether an ideal or equally qualified doctor would have been able to make a correct diagnosis.

Failure to treat a known condition

Negligence can occur when current symptoms are ignored because a patient has been misdiagnosed. It is a medical practitioner's failure to take into account the changing circumstances. If a patient is treated for the wrong condition, it can make the actual illness worse and cause further harm. This is called erroneous treatment.

How to start the legal process

If you or a loved one has suffered due to medical malpractice, an experienced attorney can tell you more about your legal options. You may be entitled to a claim, and you may help bring to light medical malpractice.

Source: Findlaw, "Failed/erroneous diagnosis and treatment," accessed Aug. 01, 2017

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