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Mark Templin was given a bleak diagnosis from his physician, Dr. Patrick Morrow – he was informed that he had terminal brain cancer, and had only months to live. Templin didn’t question the diagnosis. He quit his job, sold his pickup truck, and made prearranged funeral plans. Templin celebrated what he thought would be his last birthday, and even contemplated suicide. In time, Templin’s health condition improved, and further medical testing showed that he did not have inoperable brain cancer at all. His condition had been caused by a series of small strokes.
Templin filed a lawsuit, and a federal judge in May of 2013 ordered Fort Harrison VA Medical Center to pay Templin nearly $60,000, ruling that Dr. Patrick Morrow’s “negligent failure to meet the standard of care” with misdiagnosing Templin with terminal brain cancer in 2009 caused Templin and his family great emotional distress.
Templin was one of a fortunate few; his misdiagnosis did not result in permanent physical damage or death. Many victims of misdiagnosis are not nearly as fortunate. In a recent study by the JAMA Internal Medicine, over 150,000 patients a year suffered from a worsened medical condition or fatal medical error as a result of doctor errors. The study showed that missed or wrong diagnoses are the leading cause of patient injuries and deaths – far greater than any other mistakes made by health care providers.
The study suggests that patients need to take an active role in their medical care to ensure their safety. Patients can participate in their care by doing the following:
Patients or their families who have suffered from a misdiagnosed illness or fatal medical error have the right to pursue compensation for their doctor’s negligence. Contact New York medical malpractice lawyer Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C. for a free initial consultation and immediate assistance.