When people in Boston are concerned about a medical issue or go to the doctor for a checkup, one of the worst possible scenarios is a cancer diagnosis. The situation of being ill is bad enough, but if the medical professionals who are trusted to discover the problem make a mistake, a missed diagnosis of cancer can lead to delayed treatment, the spread of disease and a worsened condition. It can even result in death. These kinds of errors can happen to anyone, including prominent people.
Recently, actor Michael Douglas spoke at a gathering of more than 3,000 doctors about his own ordeal with misdiagnosed cancer. The Academy Award winning actor and producer was misdiagnosed three separate times. The final time he received the wrong diagnosis, he was told that he had cancer of the tongue when, in reality, he was suffering from throat cancer. Luckily for him and his family, once he received the proper treatment, he slowly began to improve. He has been cancer free for over three years.
People who receive an incorrect diagnosis often don’t get the right diagnosis in time to save their lives. There are many instances in which a person dies and no one ever realized that the issues that killed them could have been treated had they not been subject to delayed treatment due to misdiagnosed cancer. Various forms of cancer are treated with different strategies. If the diagnosis is wrong, it’s possible that the treatment will also be wrong.
With cancer, one of the keys is to catch it early. If a person had gone to the doctor exhibiting symptoms and received a misdiagnosis, they have a right to be compensated for the error. This is especially true for a family who lost a loved one due to the spread of disease when it might have been slowed or effectively treated.
Douglas was fortunate in having found a doctor who was able to correctly diagnose the cancer. He received treatment in time to go into remission. Others are not so lucky. People who have been misdiagnosed and families who suspect they lost a loved one because of misdiagnosed cancer have rights. They would be well-advised to discuss their case with a lawyer experienced in doctor errors to consider a legal filing.
Source: Liberty Voice, “Cancer Survivor Michael Douglas Speaks of His Ordeal,” Tabitha Farrar, July 28, 2014