As medical technology and research continues to advance, new treatment options become available to patients. Although these options may be highly effective in treating some injuries and illnesses, those same treatments may be extremely harmful to those who are subjected to them but who do not possess the medical condition the treatment is meant to address. This is especially true when it comes to cancer treatment.
You may be thinking that it is rare for doctors to indicate that an individual is stricken with cancer and then erroneously provide medical treatment, but it is much more common than is acceptable, and it even happens in our own neighborhoods. In fact, one Texas doctor in McAllen is being sued for medical malpractice for doing just that. According to the lawsuit, the doctor misdiagnosed patients with certain degenerative diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, then prescribed courses of treatment that included chemotherapy. The claim also states that the doctor administered these erroneous treatments to people of all ages, including children.
A criminal investigation is underway with regard to the doctor, too. The FBI is trying to figure out exactly how many individuals were wronged by him over the course of the last 18 years. Although criminal charges may result in prison and fines, that does nothing for those victims who suffered physical, emotional and financial harm due to his actions.
In order for these individuals, and others who are similarly situated, to recover their damages they will need to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. The burden of proof is lessened in these civil cases when compared to criminal cases, which means that it may be easier to win and recover compensation than it is to put an individual behind bars. That also means that simply because a medical professional avoids criminal conviction does not mean that he or she cannot be held civilly liable for damages he or she has caused. Although these legal actions can result in favorable outcomes for those who have been affected by a failure to diagnose, a wrong diagnosis or a misdiagnosis, they are usually aggressively defended against. This means that victims will need to ensure that they are putting forth strong legal arguments, supported by evidence, to support their claims.