Despite how far medical technology and procedures have come, having surgery is still a serious proposition. Imagine being told that you need to have a specific surgery, only to find out that it didn’t solve the issues that your doctor claimed it would. Now you’re stuck paying the medical bills, recovering from the surgery and maybe even missing work as a result. Can you sue?
When Medical Procedures Are Medically Unnecessary
If you’ve undergone a procedure that ended up being unsuccessful or unnecessary, you may be able to file a medical malpractice suit. This can be a difficult issue to prove, since the law doesn’t require doctors to be fortune tellers. A plaintiff has to prove that the doctor didn’t act in a reasonable manner—that is, a doctor with similar facts, training and experience would not have recommended or performed the procedure.
There are several types of cases in which medically unnecessary procedures amount to malpractice. For example, surgeries that result from misdiagnoses, a lack of informed consent about the risks and potential rewards, procedures where the doctor gets a financial reward for completing them or operating on the wrong body part.
Proving Your Malpractice Case
Depending on the facts of your case, it might be open-and-shut—for example, if a doctor operates on the wrong body part, that is clear malpractice.
However, many cases aren’t so clear-cut. Since the plaintiff must prove that the doctor didn’t act reasonably, the case may require a medical expert witness. The expert witness will review the patient’s files, the doctor’s notes and other information to determine whether an average doctor, with similar skills and training, would have done the same thing.
For example, a doctor might recommend a procedure that has a 50/50 chance of succeeding, with several potential side effects. If your doctor tells you about the chances of success and the side effects before you agree, it would not be malpractice—you were informed of the risks and rewards. If, however, they fail to mention the downsides, you may be able to prove that they did not obtain informed consent.
Ultimately, the best way to determine whether your unnecessary medical procedure is malpractice is to talk to an attorney. They’ll review the facts of your specific case, and let you know whether you should succeed on the merits.
Discuss Your Case with an Ohio Medical Malpractice Lawyer
When you’ve been subjected to unnecessary medical procedures by unethical doctors, I’ll Make Them Pay!® You may be able to recover damages for your medical bills, recovery time, lost wages and more. Let’s hold the doctors accountable. Call me today at 877.944.4373 for a consultation.