Is this malpractice?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is this malpractice?

My mother had a lump on her back and her primary care doctor told my mother it was a fatty cyst and she would be highly shocked if it was anything else. She then removed it in the office and sent it out for lab testing. Well come to find out it was not a fatty cyst but sarcoma soft tissue cancer. She then sent my mother to a general surgeon who removed the surrounding area until it had clear margins. Then she also had 33 radiation treatments after that. We are now finding out today from two chest x-rays that the cancer might have metastasis to her lungs. My question is could the primary care doctor doing minor surgery in office without confirming if it was cancer to begin with is now causing my mother to have possible lung cancer and further health problems?

Asked on August 11, 2017 under Malpractice Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

A misdiagnosis can be malpractice if--
1) The misdiagnosis was not one a reasonable doctor should have made; i.e. the diagnosis failed to meet then-currently acceptable medical standards; and
2) You can show by expert medical testimony that the misdiagnosis in fact caused harm. There must be a provable causal link between the misdisdiagnosis and an actual--not merely hypothetical or potential--injury or harm. It does not matter what "might" have happened--only what did in fact happen, and what can be proven by expert medical testimony.

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