Getting a second opinion can protect against medical malpractice

Getting a second opinion can protect against medical malpractice

A recent story in the Washington Post discussed a currently pending medical malpractice case which underscores the importance of getting a second opinion. In this case, a 36-year-old woman was told by her ob/gyn that her genetic testing revealed that she had a 50% chance of getting breast cancer, as well as up to an 80% chance of getting uterine cancer. Based on these results, it was recommended that she get a double mastectomy and hysterectomy to reduce her odds. Acting on the advice of her doctors, she had the procedures. A few months later, she found out that her doctors had made an error and that the genetic tests had actually come back as negative for genes.

In this instance, the nurse practitioner apparently misread the results, and the subsequent surgeons who performed the mastectomy and hysterectomy never independently confirmed the results, leading to the wrongful removal of her breast and ovaries.

The medical malpractice case is still pending.

While the burden shouldn’t be on patients to protect themselves against medical negligence, it is a good rule of thumb to get a second opinion when making major medical decisions or when you get a diagnosis (or fail to get a diagnosis when you feel something is wrong).

For more information or if you or a loved one has suffered harm as a result of negligent medical care, please contact the experienced San Diego medical malpractice lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultaiton.

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