The primary objective of every physician is to improve the health and well-being of their patients, and of course, to first do no harm. Unfortunately, some doctors are in the profession for the glory, and others are primarily after money.
Medical professionals who don’t have patient care as their top priority may make bad decisions. For example, they may recommend treatments that increase their prestige or allow them the biggest profit margin rather than cheaper or less exciting treatments and procedures. Some doctors choose a certain treatment just because it is convenient and fast. Prescribing one medication would be an easier solution than hands-on treatment and a combination of multiple other drugs.
Often, when a doctor wants a specific solution for a patient, that will influence how they educate the patient about their medical choices. Unfortunately, patients are the ones who may suffer adverse outcomes when they don’t have adequate information before making medical choices.
Doctors gloss over risks and drug side effects
For a patient to provide truly informed consent about starting a new medication or undergoing a medical treatment, they need to know several things. They need to know if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the treatment or medication and for what use in what population. They should also know about the most common side effects and the success rate of the treatment or medication.
Making good medical decisions means weighing the possibility of the worst side effects against the potential that the treatment will actually work. For some people, comprehensive information about the treatment or drug a doctor suggests would make them request alternate treatments.
Doctors sometimes fail to disclose side effects and failure rates or ignore them altogether rather than giving their patients adequate information. If your doctor doesn’t act in your best interests, that may be medical malpractice.
You have rights when your doctor makes mistakes
When your doctor fails to meet certain professional standards, their behavior may constitute medical malpractice. Especially for those affected by a poor outcome or failed treatment, addressing a doctor’s failure to communicate the success rates and side effects of a treatment may require a lawsuit or insurance claim.
A successful claim will compensate the patient financially and will also hopefully inspire the physician involved or their employer to change their practices to better support patients making decisions about their care. Identifying the more subtle forms of medical malpractice that may have harmed you can help you hold doctors accountable when they put their desires ahead of your health.