While the Shakespearean quotation was more likely meant to be a non-literal curse reflective of the times in which it was written, in modern times it may raise new questions in surprising areas of law. News reports in recent years have provided much in the way of speculative banter on the prevalence of the bubonic plague. The very mention of the two words together conjure images in readers’ minds of “the black death” of Europe and Asia in the 1400s, which has been causally linked to the deaths of 30-60% of the world’s population at that time.
Actual occurrences in modern times are far less widespread, with approximately 7-15 cases per year reported in the United States, but this does not mean that the disease is less deadly. To the contrary, without proper diagnosis and prompt treatment the bubonic plague can be just as deadly (and contagious) as its medieval counterpart.
Missed or Misdiagnosis
The symptoms of the plague in the beginning stages of infection can closely mirror those of many common types of flu, and so can be difficult to identify without running specific tests for plague. Some cases of misdiagnosis of the plague have proved fatal for the sick person, when prompt treatment could have set them on the path to recovery. In instances where such misdiagnoses are the result of a healthcare provider’s negligence or carelessness, it could mean that they are guilty of malpractice.
Medical malpractice is a type of professional negligence that occurs when a healthcare provider fails to provide treatment at or above the required standard of care in a certain case, and that failure causes injury or death of a patient. What can make these types of claims difficult is the myriad issues that can contribute to the overall state of a patient, the availability of all possible treatment options, as well as the fact that there are many standard risks that come with engaging in any form of medical procedure. Further, in order to prove that a doctor failed to provide a patient with the correct standard of care, it must be shown that the physician failed to use the same skill and care that would be used by a qualified physician in the same or similar circumstances.
When an individual is sick and cannot treat themselves properly at home, the first person they seek aid from is not an attorney or police officer, but a doctor. This is because a doctor has the training and knowledge to provide them with the skills to help treat whatever medical issue that person is experiencing. If a physician does not provide the sick individual with the standard level of care that he or she is duty-bound to provide, it can have serious negative effects on the individual that they were supposed to treat.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a medical professional’s negligence through misdiagnosis, contact the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. in Antioch today. Our attorneys have years of experience handling medical malpractice claims and can help you obtain the relief you are entitled to, and maybe also help prevent anyone else from being harmed by the same person in the future.