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Can patient stupidity ever be a defense for medical malpractice?

Fort Lauderdale, FL |

Will the defense ever say to the patient "well you were stupid to trust this doctor and stupid not to get a second opinion" don't you know about he "art of diagnosis" even though every GOOD doctor I speak to says that good medicine should try to be as little of an art as possible.

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Posted

Medical malpractice is based on whether the doctor performed up to the standard of care, i.e., how would a reasonably prudent doctor have have performed under the circumstances.

My answer to your question does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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Posted

In defending the doctor anything is possible. They want to divert attention away from the doctor's actions and towards what you may have done wrong.

Good luck.

DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.

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Posted

I've never heard of "patient stupidity" as a defense. I've had cases in which the defense said my client failed to follow doctor's orders/recommendations, or even cases where they said the patient contributed to his own injuries by doing X or not doing Y.

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Posted

Just based upon a quick review of your question, it seems like there have to be occasions when it could, or, at least, should be.

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Posted

In the states where I practice, there is something called contributory negligence or comparative fault. The plaintiff's own mistakes can mitigate the errors of the defendant(s). I suppose this can be called a patient's "stupidity." An example might be a plaintiff that chooses not to return promptly to an ER when their condition dramatically worsens, etc.

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

With respect, Mr. Marc Stewart, all private doctors, nurses, and medical hospitals (and their government connections) conspire together in the "community". Another word, going to the ER does not yield any benefits to the injured patients as the hospital lawyers often direct their staff to either cover up for the outside doctor/practice (if they are thier friends) or tell them to blame it all on the doctor (if they are their enemies). They never make rational medically beneficial decisions for the best interests of the patient/victim but they decisions (flowed down as the directives) are based on 1. money $$ 2. greed 3. their own political agenda 4. covering up or mitigating their own prior liability etc. And often their nurses (90% women) make it impossible even for most educated person/victim to make good decision due to their incosistencies, lies, prior lies, harassment, and dubious conducts. Some female nurses have even verbalized their hate/greed and stated "Don't come to the ER unless it's for XYZ or (issues which doen't incriminate themselves, their lawyers, or their political friends). They (women, nurses, hospital/health care lawyers, doctors) abuse and use the victim. They intentionally take medical care as an hostage to coerce or manipulate the victim and they instill fear in the victim. It makes no difference if the victim is college educated or not since their (health care perpetrators, women, lawyers et al) tactices are heinous/covert/malicious and persistent and damaging the victim's psychology intentionally. They use the best of the medicine, technology, and psychological manipulation to abuse the victim both ways. (injuries then followed up by the cover ups, lies, and intentional neglects).

Asker

Posted

There is no "contributing factor" due to the victim or "patient". The patient all want the healthy body and want the best for herself. It's always the external contributing factors, either women, nurses, doctors, hosiptal lawyers, ER doctors/nurses/staff et al which do not allow the person to do for their own self serving agenda. Many times, the nurses harass/abuse/injure the patient/victim so that she doesn't want to return.

Posted

I'll say this, I have never been in trail where the defense dared to call my client stupid.
A liar, in so many words, in some cases. But to call a party stupid is to invite a punishing verdict against you. Ergo, the McDonalds coffee spill case.

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