Imagine that a patient checks into a hospital with a sore on his leg, and the doctor recommends and carries out an amputation procedure. However, the patient later discovered that amputation was unnecessary, and the doctor could have treated the sore without surgery. In this scenario, will he be able to file a claim of medical malpractice against the doctor? This is what we mean by whether unnecessary surgery is grounds for a medical malpractice suit.
You may be shocked to know that unnecessary surgery is a prevalent form of medical malpractice. Thousands of unnecessary surgical procedures are performed on patients in the U.S. every year. This article will explain whether you should contact a medical malpractice lawyer to file malpractice claims against your medical practitioners in Florida because of unnecessary surgery.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
We can define it as a deviation from accepted medical standards and principles by a medical practitioner. A medical practitioner may be liable for malpractice, where they harm a patient through a negligent act. To prove a medical malpractice claim, you must prove that you have established a relationship with the doctor, such that the doctor owes you a duty of care. Then you must prove that the doctor deviated from accepted medical standards and caused you damage. Finally, you must prove that the doctor’s deviation directly caused your injuries. If you prove that your doctor was negligent, you can recover monetary compensation for any damage they caused you.
Is Unnecessary Surgery Grounds For A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
Surgery is said to be unnecessary if the doctor could have treated the disease with another treatment method. It will be great news if every unnecessary surgery is sufficient grounds to file a medical malpractice suit. However, this is not so. To have a viable lawsuit against a doctor for an unnecessary surgical procedure, the doctor must have acted negligently.
There are some limited instances where unnecessary surgery will be sufficient for a medical malpractice lawsuit. Such instances include:
- Where the doctor made a misdiagnosis that led to unnecessary surgery that caused harm to the patient.
- Where the doctor performed the surgery for a benefit that will accrue to him. This benefit could be financial or mere professional fame.
- Where the patient did not consent to the surgical procedure.
- Where the doctor performed a surgical procedure on the wrong patient or the right patient, but on the wrong body part.
To establish medical negligence, the court will consider the circumstances when the doctor performed the surgery and not with the benefit of hindsight. If you have suffered an unnecessary surgery, it may be challenging to figure out on your own whether your case fits into any of the above scenarios. This is why you need a medical malpractice lawyer.
Common Unnecessary Surgeries
There are some surgeries which the medical community is notorious for performing even when they are not necessary. Some of such surgeries include:
- Cardiac surgeries (including bypasses)
- Hip and Knee Replacement Surgeries
- Cesarean Sections (CS)
- Back Surgeries
- Pacemaker Implants
Determining Medical Negligence With Expert Witnesses
The key to deciding whether a doctor acted negligently in recommending and performing a surgical procedure is defining what a reasonable doctor in the same position would have done. The issue is whether another doctor would have recommended or performed the same surgery on the patient in similar circumstances.
To ascertain this, our medical malpractice attorneys may need to call a medical expert witness to testify. The expert will be a current or former medical professional with the relevant medical field’s qualifications and knowledge. However, we may not need to call a medical expert witness if the doctor made an obvious error.
To establish medical malpractice, the expert will consider the following:
- The patient’s medical history.
- The patient’s medical condition before the surgery.
- The doctor’s findings based on the above factors.
- The doctor’s history in treating similar health conditions.
- The doctor’s explanation of the surgery to the patient, including any risks, complications, and alternatives to the surgery.
Upon analyzing the facts in line with the points above, a medical expert witness will be able to give an informed opinion on whether the doctor acted negligently or not.
Get Expert Help From Our Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Proving medical malpractice is not easy. It is more difficult to prove it based on unnecessary surgery. If you have had an unnecessary surgery, then you need a medical malpractice attorney in Florida to evaluate your case to determine whether it is sufficient grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. After a proper analysis, our lawyers can file a lawsuit and ensure that the responsible medical practitioners compensate you for your injury.