The Madison-St. Clair Record reported last week on a new Illinois medical malpractice lawsuit involving a failure to diagnose cancer. These represent some of the most common, and ultimately harmful, forms of medical malpractice. In this latest case, the victim alleges that her husband’s physicians failed act reasonably when providing care, which caused a delay in his cancer diagnosis in the tongue.
According to court documents which initiated the lawsuit earlier this month, the victim is suing both the medical group where the physician worked and the doctor in his individual capacity. The suit was actually filed by the wife of the victim, because the man recently died from complications which his wife reasonably believes may have been prevented had her husband’s doctor acted in accordance with the proper standard of care. The woman explains that her husband visited the doctor for a five month period and made specific warnings to the doctor about the appearance of his tongue.
The woman believes that the doctor did provide the basic level on care when taking her husband’s complaints into account. For one thing, the complaint notes that the man’s tongue at the time of the doctor visits had an unusual visual appearance, suggesting something was wrong. However, the doctor did not seem to notice even this obvious concern, as he wrote in medical records that the man’s tongue appeared normal. Failing to notice or take account of even basic concerns like this is a sign that the involved medical professionals may not be acting as a reasonable professional would in a similar situation.
Besides the tongue’s visual appearance, the man had also lost 37 pounds throughout the time he was visiting the doctor. Yet the doctor seemingly took n notice. Instead the physician eventually diagnosed the man’s lesion incorrectly as “thrush.” It wasn’t until later that the man actually learned that he had cancer. It had been given months to grow without treatment because of the doctor failure to diagnose the problem when a reasonably prudent doctor would have. He only survived about a year and a half after the diagnosed and died in early 2010.
Providing timey cancer diagnoses are some of the most important actions that medical professionals accomplish. Yet, as our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers know, many local residents continue to receive inadequate care in this regard, leading to severe harm. It is helpful to reiterate the standard that all medical professionals are held in this and similar contexts. Usually, under regular negligence law, the doctor is required to act as a reasonably prudent medical professional would in similar situations.
That means that doctors are logically held by the court to act as a normal doctor would in similar circumstances. In failure to diagnose cases, for example, the jury will be asked to determine whether they believe that other doctors, when facts with the same facts and situation, would have acted in a different way which would have likely caught the cancer (or other problem) in a more timely way than actually occurred. Medical experts will always be brought in during these cases to help guide the jury in their assessment. But at the end of the day, it is up to them to determine if the doctor’s actions were up to the required level. In this way, all Chicago medical malpractice lawsuits are based in reasonableness between doctor and patient.
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