Do I have a case against a surgeon for telling me that my abdomen pain was in my head when if factit was a medical condition?

UPDATED: Nov 13, 2011

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Do I have a case against a surgeon for telling me that my abdomen pain was in my head when if factit was a medical condition?

During a consult with full medical record copies of all test’s, a surgeon told me that pain in abdomen was in my head sending note to general M.D. for psychiatrist in front of my husband. This made me very upset stating there isn’t anything wrong medically just mentally. Hard concrete evidence that I have diverticulitis, hiatal hernia and an interstitial cyst. Defamation of character? Malpractice? Primary doctor says surgeon is wrong; we have clear evidence of medical acute conditions.

Asked on November 13, 2011 under Malpractice Law, Oregon


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Defamation is the making to third parties of false statements of fact that damage a person's reputation. So if the statement was made to you, not to third parties, it could not be defamation; nor would it likely be defamation if the physician was in good  faith making a statement based on the evidence at that time, even if he later turned out to be wrong, since if true to the best of his knowledge at the time, it is probably not defamation.

Malpractice has to involve some injury other than just being "upset." If the misdiagnosis caused your condition to worsen, causing you pain and suffering, lost wages, or additional medical costs, then you may have a malpractice lawsuit. But the legal system does not compensate people simply for being made upset.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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