People lay their lives down whenever they place their trust in a doctor for a prescription or even for a simple check-up. Because even with almost a decade of dedicated study, doctors are just people and they also make mistakes. Unfortunately, when a doctor makes a mistake, everyone else has to pay the price.
Medical negligence is a complicated issue to unravel. First, authorities need to determine whether the issue was unforeseeable, or if there was a better option available that the doctor didn’t even consider pursuing. Firms, such as Secure Law, are gaining ground in the medical negligence industry, not because there are more cases of negligence, but because more people recognise negligence when it happens.
Ignorance of a certain technique, methodology, study or technology is hardly an excuse, because all professionals need to keep up with the latest developments in their field. After all, if doctors didn’t bother reading up on research everyone might still be treating homosexuality through medical coercion as they did in the 50s.
Lack of knowledge is hardly the only way a doctor can inadvertently cause their patient harm, as carelessness and arrogance can also play a significant part in medical negligence. This is the situation in the most common form of medical negligence: misdiagnosis.
Most patients are more forgiving of their doctors for misdiagnosis, and don’t consider it a form of medical negligence at all. But medical professionals should know the serious implications of their actions, especially in cases of misdiagnosis.
When doctors incorrectly diagnose a patient’s condition, not only will patients miss treatment opportunities that may help them avoid serious injury or death. In addition, wrong treatments may actually worsen or expedite the condition to levels of seriousness it should never reach.
In most other professions, a misdiagnosis is equal to an ‘oops’ moment. Oops, the sum of those dividends is wrong; Oops, the grammar on this sentence isn’t right; Oops, it’s actually leukaemia, not asthma. See the difference? The National Health Service (NHS) is currently under a storm of cases of negligence filed against medical practitioners, misdiagnosis right at the top of the causes.
Unfortunately, misdiagnosis isn’t a virus or an enemy. It’s just a consequence of normal human error, and the only way to combat it is through knowledge and awareness. If doctors can accept that they can be wrong on even a subject that’s so simple, the easier it is to correct mistakes, and save lives.