Medical professionals nationwide, including South Carolina, owe all their patients care at a specific standard. Any breach of the policy could constitute medical malpractice. Such breaches could happen even before any treatment takes place. Patients are owed efficacy from the moment they go through the medical service provider’s door.
Lack of diagnosis
Many patients go to doctors for checkups and not because they are ill or injured. Even then, the medical professional must provide verbal or documented clarity about the findings. If the patient is sent away after the medical examination without that clarity or a diagnosis, the medical professional might have breached the expected standard.
Suppose a patient has health concerns and report detailed descriptions of symptoms, times, dates and frequency. After an exam, the doctors send the patient away without finding any reason for the reported symptoms. If the patient then seeks a second opinion and that doctor finds the cause of the symptoms, the first doctor might be guilty of disregarding the patient.
Risk vs. reward
A medical professional must explain the risks of any treatment or procedure, along with the reward it would provide. Furthermore, the doctor must inform the patient of the potential consequences of not having the treatment or procedure. Therefore, a medical professional who proceeds without warning a patient that the risk of receiving the treatment might significantly exceed the reward might be guilty of medical malpractice.
Release of confidential information
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act mandates the confidentiality of patients’ health information. Too many people avoid seeking medical care or advice for fear of their medical history being shared with others. Such a breach might be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit that the patient could file in a South Carolina civil court to pursue damage recovery.