The last thing anybody expects to occur when they seek treatment from a doctor or surgeon is that an error will cause them harm. However, medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the US, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins. Preventable medical errors harm millions of people each year, and survivors are often left dealing with significant consequences.
But, do doctors cover up for one another when errors are discovered?
At Kurzban, Kurzban, Tetzeli, and Pratt P.A., our Hawaii medical malpractice attorneys want to discuss this issue and let you know where you can turn if you suspect you have been harmed due to a medical error.
Camaraderie. A sense of duty. Shame.
There are various reasons why one physician may lie to cover up a mistake made by another healthcare professional. Doctors, even if they do not know one another, understand that they each spent many years in medical school and residency programs. They have all worked long hours, and they all have incredibly stressful jobs.
While it is great to have a support system of fellow physicians, that does not mean that doctors should cover up evidence of medical malpractice to help one another. In 2016, NPR ran a story that reported that a now-retired doctor admitted that he lied under oath during a medical malpractice lawsuit in order to protect a doctor in his own practice who had been accused of making a medical mistake. The physician, before he retired, had been called as a witness to testify for the skill and expertise of his partner, whose patient had had a stroke during surgery and was left with permanent disabilities.
The colleague was ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing, but the doctor who was called to testify said that “From that very moment I knew I had lied — lied under oath — and violated all my pledges of professionalism that came with the Doctor of Medicine degree and membership in the [American Medical Association].”
While it is generally understood that doctors have an ethical duty to disclose their own errors to patients, we know that does not always happen. When medical mistake victims have to turn to medical malpractice lawsuits, they should be able to count on other physicians to tell the truth if they are called to testify. These cases often heavily rely on proving that a doctor operated below the acceptable standard of care. One of the best ways to prove this is by using testimony from other doctors.
If you or somebody you care about has been injured due to a medical mistake, or if you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of a medical provider, contact an attorney immediately. At Kurzban, Kurzban, Tetzeli, and Pratt P.A., our qualified and experienced attorneys are standing by to investigate your case. Our goal was to secure full compensation for what happened in your situation, which can include:
Our attorneys firmly believe in extracting the truth out of every situation. We will work with trusted medical professionals who will not lie to cover up the mistakes of other doctors. If you need a Hawaii medical malpractice attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling 866-377-3676.