A medical error can have serious consequences for those involved. If doctors or healthcare providers make a medical mistake, they may be held legally liable for damages if the patient files a medical malpractice claim. Sometimes, doctors who committed a severe medical error may also face disciplinary action from state medical review boards or licensing agencies. In a recent Missouri medical malpractice case, however, the state declined to discipline a neurosurgeon who allegedly operated on the wrong side of a patient’s brain.
According to a news report, the Missouri Board of Registration for the Health Arts is not pursuing disciplinary action against the neurosurgeon. Apparently, the surgical error happened more than a year ago when the neurosurgeon performed a procedure on the wrong side of a woman’s brain. The patient’s lawyer claims the wrong-site surgery has required the patient to have round-the-clock medical care. The victim’s family filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the surgeon and the hospital. Both plaintiffs and defendants decided to settle the case out of court. The plaintiff’s attorney also filed a complaint with the Missouri Board of Registration for the Healing Arts regarding the incident.
The decision by the state regarding the petition caught the injured party by surprise. The attorney said that even though he did not want the surgeon to lose his license to practice medicine, he believes the state should have given the doctor some sort of disciplinary action.
This surgical malpractice case indicates the potential consequences of a serious medical error to both patients and doctors. Those who believe they have been injured by medical negligence can benefit from consulting a law firm that practices in the area of medical malpractice.
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Doctor who operated on the wrong side of woman’s brain won’t be disciplined” Samantha Liss, Dec. 14, 2014