On behalf of Smiley & Smiley, LLP posted in Medical Malpractice on Monday, August 8, 2016.
We as patients often trust the advice and recommendations of our doctors when it comes to ways to get and/or stay healthy. After all, doctors have the training, education and experience we don't. However, ultimately, care decisions are left up to patients, so it is critical that we are given accurate, relevant information for the options in front of us.
For instance, if you are suffering from knee or back pain, you might be presented with a couple treatment options: physical therapy and surgery. Knowing if one option is more effective than the other will be a critical detail in helping you decide. Unfortunately, you might not be getting accurate information.
According to various studies, there are a number of surgical operations that are being conducted even though there is little evidence to support their efficacy. In some cases, including one back procedure called vertebroplasty, it has been proven that patients were no better off after surgery, making it an unnecessary operation.
The New York Times recently published an article examining this troubling trend. Patients and doctors alike are falling under the impression that certain surgical procedures are more effective than they may actually be. Because of this, people are opting for (and sometimes being encouraged to opt for) surgery.
This can be dangerous for a couple reasons. To begin with, there are added expenses of surgery, which also requires utilization of more resources. Surgery can also open up the chances of serious complications and surgical errors that would have been avoided with other courses of treatment. This can be particularly troubling, as a patient's life could be jeopardized unnecessarily.
Stopping these potentially useless operations could be crucial in protecting patients, but it is not as easy as stopping the operations, especially because they may provide relief sooner or when other measures have failed.
As one doctor notes, keeping patients safer starts with doctors receiving accurate information on a specific operation and sharing that information with patients responsibly.
If you have suffered a serious illness or injury after an operation you actually did not need, you may have grounds to file a legal claim against a doctor or hospital that failed to inform you appropriately of your options. Discussing your situation with a medical malpractice attorney will be critical.
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