Misdiagnosis of Threatening and Terminal Disease

The Maine misdiagnosis of threatening and terminal disease attorneys of Peter Thompson & Associates are respected leaders in medical malpractice law. We have successfully handled cases involving patients who suffer irreparable harm caused by someone else’s negligence. Our lawyers dedicate themselves to providing clients with the highest quality legal representation throughout Maine.

Proper diagnosis and treatment of illness are the two pillars of medical practice. Patients rely upon doctors to order the correct tests and interpret the results to help them recover. One of the first steps to finding the source of an illness is to rule out potentially life-threatening or terminal disease. Early treatment can vastly improve a patient’s chances of survival and future quality of life. When doctors misdiagnose a fatal illness or disease, they violate one of the principle responsibilities of a physician, and can cause serious harm. At best, the mistake could needlessly alarm patients and their families. At worst, it could prolong patients’ suffering or contribute to their demise.

Negligent acts leading to the misdiagnosis of threatening and terminal diseases include:

  • The failure to refer a patient to a specialist
  • An incomplete patient or family history
  • Improper interpretation of lab results
  • Ignoring persistent patient complaints
  • Inadequate or total lack of relevant tests
  • Failing to consider side effects of medication
  • A dilatory response to underlying condition
  • Prescribing the incorrect medication or dose
  • The failure to detect “textbook” symptoms of disease
  • Superficial treatment of symptoms without follow-up

Careful monitoring of a patient from intake through treatment is essential to detecting potential sources of illness. Rigorous testing and further research may be necessary to find out what is wrong. While western medicine has become increasingly focused on treating patient symptoms, physicians have a duty to inquire into the patient’s history to determine if he or she may be predisposed to a certain disease. Many times, the patient provides invaluable clues to the nature of the illness. Many of the symptoms may be caused by the side effects of medication or the patient’s reaction to a certain drug. Improperly interpreting lab results is another common cause of misdiagnosis. Retesting may be required before proceeding to treat an obscure disease. If all else fails, the patient should seek a second opinion or ask the doctor for a referral.

Misdiagnoses of threatening and terminal diseases are preventable errors caused by negligence. Negligence refers to the breach of a legal duty of care owed to another. Physicians are held to a high standard of care. They have a duty to protect the patient from unreasonable harm. Making reckless mistakes and failing to detect obvious symptoms of illness clearly fall beneath the required standard of care. When doctors breach this legal duty, they are liable for any injuries that result. Medical malpractice law provides legal recourse for victims injured by the negligence of doctors, hospitals, and other medical professionals. Doctors who fail to diagnose a life-threatening illness may be liable to the patient for past and future medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. If the misdiagnosis results in death, surviving family members are entitled to compensation for their financial and emotional loss. This may include damages for lost companionship, protection, and care. They may sue the negligent physician for medical malpractice and wrongful death.

Misdiagnoses of threatening and terminal diseases are not willingly documented by hospitals. They may rigorously deny liability or omit the mistake from the patient’s chart. Litigation is often necessary because the consequences of the error can financially ruin a family. The cost of resuscitating patients and extending their stay in the hospital is not free. The future costs of treating a terminal illness and providing palliative care are not cheap. The premature death of the primary breadwinner can forever alter the lives of dependent family members. Any damages caused by the negligence should not be borne alone. Because hospitals are vicariously liable for the negligent acts of doctors, victims of the misdiagnosis may recover from multiple parties.

If you were injured or lost a loved one due to improper medical diagnosis or treatment, contact the experienced Maine misdiagnosis of threatening and terminal disease lawyers at Peter Thompson & Associates today. We have prevailed in numerous suits involving medical malpractice, recovering millions of dollars for families across Maine. Our seasoned attorneys and medical experts can review your hospital records and identify all liable parties, with no up-front cost to you. You pay nothing unless we recover compensation for you. At Peter Thompson & Associates, we understand that misdiagnosis of a threatening or terminal illness can cause devastating injuries and financial loss. That is why we are dedicated to helping you achieve the best outcome possible in your case. Call 800.804.2004 for a free consultation or contact us online.

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