Feeling that something may be wrong with your health is a worry and so of course most of us go to the doctor assuming he can put it right or at least start us on a pathway of treatment to help. Unfortunately for some people, an incorrect diagnosis can turn even a relatively minor illness into a life-limiting or life-changing one. Sometimes when the doctor gets it wrong it is not necessarily anyone’s fault, especially in the case of a rare condition or when the symptoms are masked but any apparent mistake must be investigated, if only to prevent it happening to anyone else if it represents a gap in the doctor’s knowledge.
Should you report your doctor after an incorrect diagnosis?
There are a number of steps you can take if you, or a family member, have been a victim of incorrect diagnosis. It is important to remember that if there is a legal action already started, you will not be able to pursue the case with the local health authority. Before you start any process, call Accident Advice Helpline on the Freephone number to chat to one of our experienced lawyers. This call is confidential and you are under no obligation to proceed but it is always wise to talk to someone who has plenty of experience of medical incompetence before deciding what to do.
Everyone can make a mistake
Doctors are not superhuman and they can sometimes make a mistake and in the case of incorrect diagnosis it is important to draw a distinction between what is acceptable competence and what is negligent. Much of the diagnostic skill of a doctor depends on having all of the facts available and so it is always important to give a full medical history and not hide any symptoms no matter how embarrassed you may be. If you feel at any point that your confidence in your doctor is reduced, then you should seek a second opinion as soon as possible. This is far preferable to having to claim personal injury compensation due to a future incorrect diagnosis. Whether the news you have been given is better or worse than the actual situation, there can be serious repercussions such as unnecessary or missed surgical intervention. Sometimes, especially in cancer cases time is of the essence and even a week wasted can be seven days too much.
Date Published: September 23, 2013
Author: David Brown