Nowadays, the medical world's new developments have resulted in patients receiving appropriate treatments with a high chance of survival. Any patient approaching a doctor is expected to get the best expert medical treatment due to the knowledge and skills they possess. Due to the interaction, a doctor owes the patient certain duties, and when these duties are breached, then there arises a cause of legal action. When a doctor fails to provide treatment to a patient, the consequences may be fatal. But if a doctor fails to treat an illness or a condition that doesn’t mean that one has a medical malpractice claim. However, when a patient's condition worsens because they never received treatment either due to delayed diagnoses, one may have a valid medical malpractice claim.
Why Should A Doctor Fail To Treat Me?
Since not every outcome may give rise to a medical malpractice claim, it's always a good idea to consult a personal injury attorney in Alaska to guide whether the doctor's actions fell below the required standard of care. Generally, a doctor has to obtain prior informed consent from the patient before they start any treatment. There are many reasons why a doctor may fail to treat a patient. Again, no doctor should fail to treat a patient because of racial, ethnic, or religious reasons. Also, they cannot discriminate based on sex unless where patient's sex is relevant to the doctors' specialty. Outside of any protected area, doctors have significant latitude for failure to treat patients. But again, this must be in order with the law. Below are some of the reasons why a doctor may fail to treat a patient:
· The doctor delayed diagnosis and hence failed to treat
· Patient’s inability to pay for the necessary medical service provided
· Victims of car accidents whose result is litigations
· Patient behavior. Some patients are extremely difficult.
· Placing unrealistic responsibilities on the doctor
When Failure To Treat May Amount To Medical Malpractice
If your doctor delayed diagnoses and failed to treat a condition that later escalated, causing harm that would not have normally been there, this may amount to medical malpractice. For instance, the doctor may have delayed diagnosis, failed to treat the first stage of cancer, and later the patients had to undergo chemotherapy. The progress may result in a negative impact upon the later treatment. For any medical malpractice claim, the patient should prove failure to treat resulted in more harm. The fact is that it’s extremely difficult for a judge to accept any explanation of why a patient who needed urgent care should not be attended to but turned away. All in all, for failure to treat to become medical malpractice, it must be well established that the doctor failed to exercise reasonable care, and as a result, the patient suffered more harm. In other words, it must be established that:
· There was medical negligence: For medical negligence to amount to medical malpractice, several situations must be involved. For instance, the doctor may have failed to diagnose the patient's condition, and through failure to treat. Besides, the doctor could have failed to advise the patient on the risks associate with failure to treat. The fact is that no law requires a doctor to be perfect, but they should conduct themselves in a manner that doesn’t deviate from the standard of care expected of them. If one believes to have a case, they should turn to medical experts to try to boost their arguments.
· The doctor delayed diagnosis since he/she was not well experienced.
· Working under the influence of drugs or alcohol: In some cases, a the doctor may diagnose a condition and then fail to provide the relevant medical information either because he/she was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. To prove medical malpractice, the doctor must be negligent with the diagnosis, which led to the patient’s condition getting worse.
Proving That Failure To Treat
Providing evidence for failure to treat that may result in medical malpractice is tough. One must prove how negligence occurred. You must be in a position to show that:
· The doctor failed to adhere to the required standard of care when evaluating the treatment.
· As a result, you suffered more harm.
The above requires in-depth experience for both Alaska medical malpractice laws and the medical situation at hand. The fact is that negligence is a tort. Every doctor has to act with reasonable care and skills toward any patient. The test is always based on how an ordinary skilled man would behave if in the same circumstance.
Getting Legal Help
Though treatment failure is a complex issue, not all cases of failure to treat are illegal. Suppose you believe a doctor failed to diagnose your disease or delayed diagnosis and there was no treatment given immediately, hence the condition worsened. In that case, you may consider looking out for medical malpractice lawyers to evaluate your case and help you understand whether you may have a valid claim, which is possible through a free consultation.
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