Last week we reported on the story of one cosmetic surgeon who lost the ability to see patients only after more than forty medical malpractice lawsuits had been filed. Similar stories have recently been reported by victims of botched cosmetic surgeries Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers are growing increasingly concerned that the problem is just as widespread in our area, with more and more local citizens being hurt in a variety of ways because of mistakes made during these types of procedures.
Across the country many advocates are also voicing concerns that states are doing a poor job of providing oversight and properly regulating these professionals. An article in lax week’s Tucson Sun took a close look at the problem. It was noted how one state published guidelines three years ago regarding competency levels for those performing cosmetic surgery only after three patients of a former cosmetic surgeon died as a result of his medical errors. The doctor in that case-a former emergency room doctor-ultimately faced criminal convictions for second degree murder and manslaughter. He is currently appealing his 25 year sentence. Similar cases of serious error and systematic medical malpractice in the field of plastic surgery is leading more and more states to take a close look at who these doctors are and what risks they pose to patients.
The problem, say experts, is an increase is what is known as “practice drift”-where medical doctors begin working outside of the area in which they are trained and board certified. Obviously, this can be troubling for those who care about ensuring that the doctors that they see are properly trained to handle their expert obligations safely. One physician and medical board expert reported that “This is on the radar of many state boards. What doctors should and should not do when they change their area of focus is a concern for everyone.”
The problem is most pronounced in cosmetic surgery. There has been a strong increase in consumer demand for these procedures, and so some physicians have taken advantage of the opportunity in an effort make money. Even physicians who are not properly trained to do these surgeries have decided to jump ship and enter cosmetic surgery offices. Unfortunately, unsuspecting patients therefore act as guinea pigs with potentially deadly results. Residents continue to be caught up in the process as many clinics offer cheap alternative to certain procedures. Many clinics have also been accused of downplaying the risks of certain operations, particularly liposuction, in order to convince wavering consumers.
Each Chicago medical malpractice attorney at our firm knows that many local victims have had their lived turned upside down by doctors practicing in areas outside of their specific specialty. Doctors, like all professionals, are responsible for the conduct of their actions. Those who visit these professionals are owed a duty of care equivalent to all others competent in the field. We urge all local residents considering cosmetic surgery to take extra care when deciding who to visit for the operation. This field, much more than others, is often ripe with professionals who have not been specially trained for the work.
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