North Carolina doctors spend years in school and residency to prepare for years of critical decision making. The hope is that doctors will gain the experience necessary experience to provide help to patients through well-informed diagnoses and treatments.
Readers in Greenville may be disappointed to hear about a case in which physicians were making decisions based not on their expertise and training, but as the result of personal financial gain. Thankfully, one doctor stood up when he noticed that the hospital he worked for was illegally paying doctors to make specific, unnecessary referrals. For his role in exposing this troubling practice, the doctor received a settlement in the wake of a whistleblower lawsuit.
Most often, people probably think of medical malpractice strictly in terms of doctors and other medical staff failing to make wise decisions or take action as necessary. However, malpractice is based on negligence. If a doctor makes an important medical that is not based on the best interests of a patient, but is for their own benefit, then patients may have grounds to hold their medical providers liable in the event that something goes wrong.
Individuals have a right to expect that their doctors will make an honest effort to do the right thing when faced with an important medical decision. There is a reason people feel the need to trust their doctors and this recent story about monetary kickbacks may, unfortunately, give patients a reason to become suspicious. As such, it's important for individuals to be made aware of their legal options in the event they are injured as the result of a doctor's error.
Source: Forbes, "Whistleblower Lawsuit Yields $2.4 Million For New Jersey Cardiologist," Larry Husten, Jan. 31, 2013
- Our firm has helped North Carolina residents figure out how to move forward in the wake of a medical error. To find out more, please visit our Raleigh medical malpractice page.