A new survey released yesterday in Health Affairs revealed that many doctors do not tell the whole truth to their patients. According to the study, at least 1 in 10 doctors have told an adult patient or child’s guardian information that was not true; and at least 1 in 5 doctors have not fully disclosed a mistake or error they made because of fear of a malpractice suit.
In some ways, it’s hard to blame them. Everyone makes mistakes, so telling someone information that turns out not to be true doesn’t necessarily mean a doctor was lying on purpose. Likewise if the mistake or error they made was minimal and had no effect on the patient’s outcome, it is easy to see why they would not want to make it public.
Doctors are human beings with families and friends, and unfortunately they don’t know the perfect answer to every question or get everything right 100% of the time. They did not go into medicine to harm others – in fact, they took an oath not to – and baseless lawsuits can be very difficult on them and their families.
At the same time, these mistruths and hidden information can also have very negative consequences. Perhaps the “something that is not true” drastically changed the patient’s treatment plan for the worse. Perhaps the “mistake” was leaving something dangerous in a patient’s body after surgery.
When major health problems occur because of a doctor’s negligence or wrongdoing, you do have options. Our Memphis medical malpractice lawyers can look at your situation and help you figure out what possible path to take. Contact us today to talk with an attorney for free.
(Photo: Sanja Gjenero)