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Office LocationKamerow Law Firm, PLLC
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Alexandria, VA 22311
When people suffer from ailments and seek treatment from doctors, it is inevitable that things could go wrong. Doctors might make mistakes in treating, diagnosing, or failing to treat and diagnose. Sometimes, however, even the most diligent efforts by modern medical professionals fail to heal ills. Some of these kinds of mistakes fall under the label of “Medical Malpractice.”
Duty Of Care
Duty is a legal term referring to a standard of care owed by one person to another.
Many doctors take an oath, in part, to exercise reasonable care in diagnosing and treating patients. This oath is a formality that establishes a duty on the part of the doctor to enact a reasonable amount of diligence in caring for patients. Even without swearing to an oath, doctors, by virtue of accepting the job, owe a duty of care to patients. In other words, when a person becomes a doctor, that person takes on certain responsibility to treat patients with diligent efforts. The same is true of police officers, ambulance medics, teachers, school bus drivers, and many other roles in society, though the actual duties vary. This duty imposed on doctors exists because a special relationship is formed between doctor and patient, upon which the patient relies.
Breach Of Duty
When a doctor fails to enact reasonable measures to diagnose and treat illness, that doctor breaches the duty owed to the patient. This situation is known as malpractice. Malpractice can result either from carelessness or from unreasonable mistake.
A component of the reasonableness of care in treating and diagnosing patients arises out of the use of customary techniques that are recognized by organizations such as the American Medical Association, and are established as industry standards by doctors across the United States.
Certain symptoms require certain testing and investigative techniques, and failure to use these techniques can constitute malpractice if the omission to test or investigate results in the harmful progression of a disease. A common example is the failure of a doctor to recognize that an obvious growth exists within a person’s body, and to test that growth for malignancy. If the growth is cancerous and the person dies later as a result of cancer, this is a clear example of malpractice.
Just as with diagnosing, customary treatment plans exist. Upon recognizing an illness, doctors must enact reasonable care in treating that illness, if such a plan exists. If a doctor recognizes a lump within a person’s body, properly tests and discovers malignancy, then decides to treat the cancer by applying leeches to the skin over the growth, this would likely give rise to a case in medical malpractice if the cancer progresses and causes harm. In such a case, the doctor ignores established treatment methods that are generally accepted by modern medical professionals nationwide as effective and safe.
Modern medical practices sometimes prove futile in detecting and treating disease, and despite the most diligent efforts, the disease prevails. This is an unfortunate reality and no person can be held culpable.
Get Legal Representation
If you or a loved one has suffered from the worsening of an illness or from collateral ailment after receiving medical treatment, it is possible that malpractice was the cause. Determining the existence of malpractice requires the skill of an experienced lawyer. Demand just compensation for the harm suffered. Contact the attorneys at The Kamerow Law Firm, PLLC for a free and confidential consultation by calling 703-370-8088.