Don’t be mistaken, medical abandonment is medical malpractice. Medical abandonment is hard to detect because it usually happens when a medical professional ends a relationship with a patient that needs continued treatment without making sure that the patient will get the care they need elsewhere. Doctors are required to make sure that the patient is treated by another provider if they end care. If the patient is not treated in an acceptable manner by the their main medical provider it is considered neglect. This opens up the medical provider or professional to medical malpractice lawsuits.
The medical provider needs to give the patient notice if they plan to terminate the relationship so that the patient can find another provider that will treat them. The relationship with the patient starts when the physician first diagnoses and treats the patient. A physician patient relationship is an ethical relationship and a legal relationship. Doctors have a legal duty to the patient that they treat. A patient can prove a legal obligation connected to the doctor by demonstrating that the patient chose to be treated by this specific doctor. That the doctor examined them for the purpose of treatment and that the treatment was ongoing.
For the doctor to legally terminate a relationship with the patient, the physician and the patient both must mutually agree to terminate the relationship. Another way this relationship can be terminated is by the patient dismissing or firing the physician. Finally, the physician can terminate the relationship with the patient by giving the patient notice and enough time to find another doctor for treatment. The relationship a patient has with a doctor is considered over once the patient no long needs the services of the physician or the medical facility.
Medical abandonment can occur at any time. Be on the lookout for how you were treated by the doctor. Remember, doctors have a legal obligation to their patients and if that obligation is not met the doctor can very well be sued. Other ways in which a doctor can inappropriately end care and be liable is by not helping the patient find a new doctor. Or if a doctor puts you in the care of another medical provider that is not qualified to treat you. You can also be left without treatment suddenly when you need it most and have been given no reason as to why the treatment ended.
If you have been subject to medical abandonment reach out to a lawyer today. The Davis Kelin Law Firm is able to assist in medical abandonment cases. We take very seriously the duty that a doctor has to their patient. The Davis Kelin Law Firm can be reached at (505) 242-7200. Learn more about what a doctors duty is to their patient and why breach of duty by doctors is negligence. We hope you take great comfort in knowing you deserve to be treated fairly by your doctor and if you are not you can seek legal recourse.