Incompetence is a problem in every field, but is particularly troublesome in the medical profession, where a doctor’s failures can lead to significant injury or even death. Doctors regularly miss diagnoses or botch surgeries, resulting in millions of dollars in additional medical expenses. But as frightening as incompetence is, willful malpractice is much scarier.
A Texas doctor has been accused of prescribing unnecessary chemotherapy and other procedures in order to fund a lavish lifestyle, including luxury cars and a private plane. All told the scheme may have resulted in 240 million dollars in unneeded treatments for over 1500 patients per year. The financial implications are staggering, but the treatments themselves posed significant dangers to the health of those who underwent them.
The doctor-patient relationship is built on trust. The patient trusts the doctor not only to make the proper diagnosis, but to recommend the treatment most in line with the patient’s wants and needs. This doctor violated that trust, placing the health of his patients at risk to pad his pockets.
The extent to which doctors intentionally misdiagnose patients and prescribe unnecessary medications is unknowable. But this professional is not the only physician placing his finances above the health of his patients. This subterfuge went on for years before it was discovered, and other doctors might be running similar schemes.
If you or someone you love might have been the victim of medical malpractice, either due to error of due to willful misconduct, please consult with an experienced attorney. Determining whether or not a doctor performed the proper diagnostic steps and prescribed the correct treatments can be difficult, and a skilled lawyer can help guide you through the process of making those determinations.