The Future Malpractice Lawsuits


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10+ Year Member
Feb 17, 2007
The future malpractice lawsuits are going to be in the lines of not ordering a genetic test when one should have been order. So to make since of this, let's look at the following example.

A client sets an appointment up to see his/her oncologist about their ailing health problem. The client then comes to the appointment and the physician wants to diagnose the client with breast cancer. Thus, the physician orders a test to make sure the patient does have breast cancer cells. The test comes back positive, so the physician has the client start a course of therapy that includes daily treatments five days a week for five to seven weeks. Then patient had a really tough time going through the therapy. So after the treatment was done, the breast cancer cells were no longer present.

After another 5 years has gone by, the client becomes really sick again. So the client sets up an appointment with the same oncologist and the oncologist has the same test done again to confirm the reoccurrence of the breast cancer cells. So the client asks the oncologist if he/she might have a mutation in BRCA1. So the physician says, "you might have a mutation in BRCA1, but the same course of treatment will still be the same as we did with you before." So the client says ok to the treatment again, but is thinking to themselves that he/she wants a second opinion.

So the client goes to a different clinic and sees a different oncologist. So the new oncologist tells the client that he/she (I keep use he/she because males can also get breast cancer), should get a genetic test done so the physician knows what treatment option is best for the client. So the client goes to see a genetic counselor and has a genetic test done checking for mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2. So the test comes back positive for a mutation not in BRCA1, but BRCA2. Thus, with the mutation being in BRCA2, a different chemotherapy and drug regimen is needed for this patient; which would be different from the chemotherapy and drug regimen needed for the mutation in BRCA1.

So the client receives treatment and is once again cured from breast cancer. So another 5 years goes by and the client is still healthy. So the client then begins to file a malpractice lawsuit against the first oncologist the client saw because the oncologist did not order a genetic test to be done and should have and would have avoided the client to go through another round of treatment.

So in the court of law the client wins because the oncologist was found to be at fault.
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Sep 5, 2006
  1. Post Doc
Congratulations. Apparently, you can think of a more creative lawsuit.

I hope you are not assuming that this case is outside of the norm for lawsuits. Anytime a patient gets better treatment from an alternate doctor you can expect some lagal ramblings, that is just the junk of a legal system that we have. BTW, when I say that should be the least of OP's worries I am refering to the more obnoxious lawsuits out there. For example, I read one about a doctor getting sued for taking a lunch break after working 13 hours straight.
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