When we go to the doctor, we assume we are in good hands. For the most part, this is a safe assumption, but doctors are not immune to making mistakes. One of the most common and debilitating mistakes a doctor can make is the failure to refer a patient to a specialist. If this occurs, the doctor may be held responsible, and the patient may deserve compensation. Read on to learn more about the failure to refer a patient in Maryland.
When is a Doctor Referral Necessary?
When a doctor-patient relationship is established, the doctor is required to treat their patient until treatment is no longer necessary or the patient ends the relationship. If a doctor feels he or she is not equipped to treat a patient’s condition, a referral is necessary. A doctor should quickly refer their patient to a specialist who possesses the skill needed to properly treat the patient, rather than putting it off, or attempting to treat a condition that they know is outside of their abilities.
What is the Standard of Care?
In order to make a decision about a referral, a doctor should use the “standard of care.” The standard of care refers to the process of making decisions that are in line with the thinking of other doctors of similar qualifications. For example, if another doctor in the same situation would refer the patient, your doctor is required to do the same. Failure to do so may mean deviating from the standard of care which can cause a patient a great amount of suffering.
How Can the Failure to Refer Harm a Patient?
When a doctor does not refer their patient to see another doctor, it can cause serious harm to the patient. The following are common results of the failure to refer:
- The condition or illness worsening to the point of being irreversible
- A misdiagnosis of a condition or illness due to insufficient knowledge
- A delayed or missed diagnosis caused by the failure to refer a patient
- In some cases, wrongful death can occur
What do I do if I am a Victim of Medical Malpractice?
If you believe you are a victim of medical malpractice, you should reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Our firm will help you gather evidence of negligence and fight for you to recover the compensation you deserve.
Contact our Firm
If you or a family member have been injured in a personal injury accident and wish to speak with an attorney, contact Lloyd J. Eisenberg & Associates today.