When a patient in Massachusetts or elsewhere receives a diagnosis of terminal cancer, the shock can be overwhelming. The devastating news of stage four cancer can lead to severe anxiety, panic and depression for a patient who had expected to live a longer life. Sleepless nights spent trying to plan for the uncertain future of loved ones can take its toll. Accordingly, there should be no doctor error when a healthcare professional advises a patient that he or she has only months to live.
A jury recently awarded a man the sum of $200,000 after he became the victim of a doctor mistake. The doctor advised the man that he had end stage pancreatic cancer and could expect to live only a few months. Later, it was determined that the doctor provided the man with improper information and had not yet reviewed his pathology report. Instead of terminal cancer, the man actually had non-Hodgkins lymphoma, which often can be treated. Indeed, the man is alive four years after the misdiagnosis. While the man is certainly happy that the doctor made a mistake in diagnosing his problem, he felt that it was important to be compensated for his emotional distress and loss of enjoyment for the time period when he thought his cancer was terminal.
In a situation where doctor errors negatively impact a patient, it can be a good idea to speak with legal counsel to learn about possible remedies in court. A medical malpractice claim can help a patient recover medical expenses, together with other amounts incurred due to doctor negligence.
Source: Insurance Journal, “Maine Cancer Patient Gets $200K for Misdiagnosis,” June 17, 2013