A noticeable trend among medical malpractice cases lodged in Canada involve the failure to make a timely diagnosis of a patient. Medical malpractice experts in the legal community are finding themselves representing an ever increasing number of individuals who suffered serious injuries because doctors failed to make a proper diagnosis of a disease or condition in a timely manner.
The failure to make a timely diagnosis is also representing an increasing percentage of medical malpractice wrongful death cases in Canada. Even with seemingly never ending advances in diagnostic technology, the failure to make a timely diagnosis appears to be on track to be an increasingly more prevalent problem.
Overview of the Failure to Make a Timely Diagnosis
The failure to make a timely diagnosis involves a patient who presents certain symptoms to a doctor. The health care provider does not make an erroneous diagnosis in the sense that the doctor incorrectly identifies a malady. Rather, the doctor makes no diagnosis at all in a timely manner.
No Diagnosis Versus an Incorrect One
When a doctor makes patently incorrect diagnosis of an illness or disease, the negligence is rather self-evident. On the other hand, when a doctor fails to make a timely diagnosis, the underlying negligence can prove to be a bit more elusive.
The typical scenario involves a patient making an appointment with a doctor. The patient presents symptoms and the doctor concludes there is nothing significantly medically wrong with the patient. In short, the doctor does nothing further.
Another common scenario involves a situation in which a doctor concludes that something may be wrong with a patient but then spends an inordinate and unnecessary amount of time reaching a proper diagnosis. The delay in diagnosing is not something that should occur if the doctor conducted his or her self in a reasonable manner.
In fact, the patients ends up having a serious medical condition that a reasonable doctor would have diagnosed in a timely period of time. In these cases, doctors are quick to pronounce that they acted with all deliberate speed and no other healthcare provider could have done better.
Medical Experts in the Legal Arena
Cased of failure to diagnosis in a reasonable time period necessitate the involvement of legal professionals who truly are medical experts. These professionals need to be able to address the nuanced nature of this type of malpractice with clarity and precision in order to best protect the rights of a patient injured because of this type of medical negligence.