Upon agreeing to receive treatment from a health care provider, we should be confident that they will see to our needs in a manner that is competent and discreet. If the treatment we receive is substandard or even injurious due to some form of medical negligence, then we should be able to seek compensation. One important component in the pursuit of compensation is access to our medical records that reside in the provider’s possession.
About 15 years ago, the Institute of Medicine released a disturbing report on the number of deaths caused by medical errors. Recently, at a Senate subcommittee hearing, a patient safety advocate, who is also a doctor, told lawmakers that protections for patients are no better now than they were when the report was released.
Individuals in Arizona who are considering filing a lawsuit related to medical malpractice and a misdiagnosis may be interested to learn that such misdiagnoses are not uncommon. In fact, there are about a dozen chronic and acute illnesses that are commonly misdiagnosed in the U.S.
In terms of protecting the well-being of vulnerable adults, is there a difference between "providing care" and "providing treatment"? No, said the Arizona Supreme Court. The question came up in two cases recently heard by the high court.
Imagine that you have been admitted to the hospital for a medical condition. Because of most doctors’ experience and educational background, you trust that you are in good hands and will be well taken care of. But during your stay, a medical mistake occurs and you are left with a debilitating injury. What would you do?
If you've ever visited a site looking for answers regarding a medical condition, you may have noticed a disclaimer stating that the site does not provide medical advice or that it is not intended to be a substitute for a medical professional. In most cases, this is listed for liability reasons.
According to government studies, about one out of 10 doctors is an alcoholic or drug addict, and Arizona-based doctors are likely no exception. One investigative correspondent brought this issue to light after finding several cases of doctors getting caught abusing alcohol and drugs. He reported that some of these doctors were drunk or stoned when they performed surgeries on patients, leaving the patients injured or even dead.
The Journal on Patient Safety recently confirmed that over 440,000 people die every year because of preventable medical errors. Every year, preventable medical errors needlessly kill the equivalent of the population of Atlanta, Georgia. Put another way, that's like taking Boise, Idaho and Madison, Wisconsin and erasing them from the map.
Even though we know that there are some medical conditions for which there is no cure, this does not make it any easier when a loved one dies as a result of a serious condition. Such was the case for a mother and father in Santa Ana whose son suffered brain damage because of complications with his condition. But that grief now has an edge of anger because they recently learned that their son’s current condition might have been a result of hospital negligence.
While trust is usually earned in most situations, this isn’t always the case with doctors and hospitals. That’s because most people here in Arizona, as well as across the country, have a natural belief that a hospital and its staff will help sick and injured people get better. We trust that they will provide us with the highest standard of care possible and we do this almost without question.