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Physicians are not allowed to perform HIV tests on patients without a thorough explanation and consent to a test. Test results can be life-changing for a patient, but if caught early enough, some patients are able to live relatively healthy lives with treatment. One patient made the terrifying decision to have an HIV test performed, but despite his consent, he was never tested. Massachusetts patients may be interested to learn that a jury recently awarded the man $18.4 million for the harm he suffered due to two different physicians’ failure to diagnose him in a timely manner.

Reportedly, the patient agreed to be tested because he was a high-risk patient. He was a gay man, and he had handled blood and bodily fluids as a paramedic in his younger years. Despite consent, the blood was not tested or followed up by two different physicians.

Three years later, another physician questioned the man’s lack of HIV diagnosis and performed a test. The patient was HIV positive, and without treatment, he had progressed to a late form of the disease called AIDS. At the time of the diagnosis, the man had been employed as a lawyer, but the disease caused the man brain damage, preventing his ability to work.

A physician’s failure to diagnose a patient can be detrimental to a patient’s health and life. The ability to earn income, enjoy life and afford medical expenses can become difficult if a patient’s health is not maintained. Massachusetts patients who feel they may have lacked adequate care may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. In some cases, compensation may be gained to help improve the quality of life of a client and relieve some financial burden brought on by negligence.