It is typically assumed that the primary duty of doctors is to help patients to the best of their ability, so it is not surprising that most people place significant trust in their doctor's opinions and suggestions. In most cases, this trust is earned; medical professionals of all types are regularly knowledgeable, well trained and focused on the welfare of patients. However, there are scenarios when this trust is betrayed and a doctor makes a medical error that harms the patient. This appears to be the situation in a string of medical malpractice lawsuits recently brought against doctors at St. Joseph Medical Center in Maryland.
The lawsuits, filed by 39 individuals, claim a group of doctors were involved in justifying or performing the implanting of unnecessary stents. Not all of the individuals listed in the lawsuits performed the operations; some of them are included for allegedly recommending stents when they were not justified. The lawsuits allege the doctors may have done unnecessary procedures on potentially hundreds of people.
These allegations began in 2009 when one of the accused doctors was accused of regularly performing the unnecessary surgery, resulting in millions of dollars in lawsuits and a federal investigation. The latest allegations claim even more doctors participated in the wrongdoing. The doctors have either denied fault, remained silent on the issue or have not been reached for comment.
In situations such as these where doctors may have acted negligently and potentially made serious medical errors, it is important for the patients to know they have legal options. In instances where it can be shown that a doctor acted negligently, patients could potentially receive compensation for medical bills-both current and future-as well as compensation for pain and suffering. By collecting evidence of their treatment and bringing their case to a lawyer or before a medical board, it is possible the wronged patient could reach a settlement.
Source: The Baltimore Sun, "More doctors accused of putting unnecessary stents in patients," Andrea K. Walker, Oct. 16, 2012