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Delayed Diagnosis Compromises Man’s Life, Lawsuit Illegal

  • On Behalf Of Colton Holm
  • Published: June 1, 2019

When people are feeling unwell and have decided to go visit their medical provider in Montana, they often expect to walk away with an answer. At the very least, an idea of what could be causing their symptoms. However, there are times when because of misinformation or even negligence, a patient may not receive a correct diagnosis until a later time. Depending on the severity of their health issue and how much time lapses before a correct diagnosis is made, their well-being could hang in the balance of life or death.

For one active-duty military member, this is exactly what happened and due to a delayed diagnosis, he is now battling Stage IV cancer. The terminally ill man has served several tours as part of the United States Marine Corps and is a Green Beret. When he started recognizing that his health was declining, he visited a doctor who sent him home after a CT scan did not reveal any abnormal activity. Subsequent visits happened the same way until months later, an official diagnosis was made. By this time, the man’s cancer had metastasized leaving him deathly ill.

However, due to a law that says that active-duty military members are not allowed to sue, the man is unable to file a lawsuit alleging medical malpractice in his case. While retired military members have this right, active-duty do not. The man, acknowledging that his life expectancy is declining rapidly, is continuing to work to try to leave his wife and children in the best possible circumstances. However, this decision means he is not legally able to take action against the health care providers who failed to make a diagnosis in a critical time. The man is currently working with lawmakers to change this rule.

When people have been injured at the hands of their doctor, they may be eligible for compensation. A legal professional may have a considerable impact in helping victims build a case that describes their situation and highlights the need for compensation to be awarded.

Source: Fox 8, “Green Beret with terminal cancer working to change law on malpractice lawsuits,” Bob Buckley, May 30, 2019

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