Liability for Non-Performed Procedures

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All doctors have a duty of care. This duty requires them to perform as a reasonable doctor in good standing would act in a similar case. If a doctor falls below this standard, and thereby causes injury to the patient, the doctor is liable for medical malpractice.

While many malpractice lawsuits result from negligence in providing treatment, just as many, if not more, stem from a failure to diagnose and treat a condition in the first place, resulting in non performed procedures that could have improved the patient’s condition.

Liability for non-performed procedures are common in conditions such as lung cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, heart attack, and appendicitis.

Because all of these conditions require early treatment, a failure to diagnose can be fatal, leading to very large judgments against doctors and insurance companies.

If a doctor fails to exercise the required level of care in diagnosis, and this causes injury, the patient can recover. To recover, the plaintiff will have to prove that he or she would have been better off if the condition had been diagnosed and treated in a timely manner, and the doctor is liable for the non-performed procedure.

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Last Modified: 12-06-2012 03:50 PM PST

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