Failure To Treat – What To Do When Your Doctor Fails You

We put so much of our trust into the hands of medical professionals. And while they have skills and years of schooling, doctors are humans, too. They’re not perfect, and as much as we hate to admit it, they can make mistakes. You want to trust their knowledge and years of experience, but sometimes they fail to diagnose and treat us. When this happens, it’s only natural to want to pursue a failure to treat medical malpractice lawsuit. Keep reading to learn more..

What Is Failure To Treat? 

If you go to the doctor and they fail to treat your health concern or condition, this can lead to worsening conditions injury. Failure to treat lawsuits can involve anyone working in the medical field. This includes physicians, nurses, and any other healthcare professionals. If you’re harmed because a doctor fails to treat you, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries through legal action. This is a failure to treat medical malpractice case.

Nurse walks through empty hospital.

Uninsured? You Still Have The Right To Treatment!

You may think that if you don’t have health insurance, it means that you don’t have any protection. But that’s not always true! It’s important to know your rights. Even if you don’t have insurance, you still have the right to emergency care if you meet the federal guidelines of an emergency.

For an emergency to occur, an incident generally must be:

    • Severe or life-threatening
    • Involve impaired bodily functions or organs
    • Involve active labor of a pregnant woman

Is Failure To Treat Considered Medical Malpractice?

The short answer is yes! If a doctor fails to treat a patient with a medical condition, it’s considered medical malpractice if the failure was caused by negligence or error. 

Here are some examples of how a doctor might fail to treat a patient:

    • Failure to assess and monitor a condition
    • Not performing necessary medical tests
    • Forgetting to refer a patient to a specialist
    • The doctor doesn’t inform a patient of available treatments
    • Not treating a patient due to lack of insurance (Read more about patient abandonment here.)
    • The emergency room fails to treat life-threatening symptoms in the emergency department
    • Neglecting to abide by the standards of care

How Can Failure To Treat Cause Injury?

If an existing condition is not treated by a doctor, it can continue and cause further injury to the patient. If this condition could be treatable if caught early enough, that delay in treatment could cause irreparable damage. In these cases, what should have been a simple treatment has the potential to cause serious damage to the patient.

One Family’s Tragic Story 

Here is just one sad story of a man and his experience with a failure-to-treat case. The family chose to remove his name to remain anonymous. After experiencing a poor appetite and rapid weight loss, he was finally diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer. He was admitted to the hospital where his body condition worsened from poor nutrition. Eventually, doctors recommended a temporary feeding tube to deliver a nutritional formula directly into his stomach. It was removed, but an alternative was not provided. The man’s health continued to decline, and his family repeatedly asked for more nutritional support, such as IV nutrient delivery. But their requests were denied because the doctors thought the risks were too high due to his cancer.

Yet, a CT scan was performed and the results surprised everyone, including the doctors. It showed that his cancer had actually begun to regress. His lymph nodes became stable, and the tumor in his liver had shrunk. In the end, this man’s medical team mismanaged his physical condition and underestimated the effects of malnutrition. They had classified him as needing end-of-life care. As a result, they were no longer providing active care because they had incorrectly determined him to be untreatable.

This man’s story has a heart-breaking ending. His body continued to deteriorate and become ravaged with infections. Because doctors were so delayed in starting treatments, he was too far gone and ultimately succumbed to his ailments. And the saddest part of all? His story may not have ended this way if his doctors hadn’t failed to treat him.

Woman injured because of malpractice looks stressed.

Get Help With Filing A Medical Malpractice Claim

In a perfect world, pursuing a medical malpractice claim would take all the pain away. While it may not be able to bring back the years of poor health you suffered, it can compensate you. For all the expensive medical bills, for all the time you’ve lost at your job and even potential future lost income, and for your pain and suffering from a very preventable mistake. If you think you or a loved one has a failure to treat medical malpractice case, contact the experienced attorneys at Hampton & King for a free consultation today!