End of Life Issues Raise Malpractice Questions

Perhaps nowhere more than in the state of Florida, end-of-life considerations for elderly or infirmed people are at the forefront in the medical community. CBS News recently reported that end-of-life procedures may actually cause more pain and suffering in the final weeks leading to death. More than 80% of the annual deaths in the U.S. are attributed to long-term diseases, such as cancer, heart failure and Alzheimer’s. In the final weeks of life, the vast majority of patients and their doctors attempt radical or intensive treatments in an effort to save their lives through chemotherapy, radiation or experimental procedures.

According to the CBS News article published June 28, 2010, these treatments can take a drastic toll on the body, causing more pain in the last days of life than the disease would have likely caused if left untreated in many cases. In turn, these experiences can lead families of loved ones to sue doctors and hospitals for malpractice when treatments don’t work or cause increased suffering prior to death.

Determining Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice can be tricky to prove. Just because a treatment doesn’t work doesn’t mean that it was administered incorrectly or with negligence. However, attempting radical procedures recklessly or with knowledge of possible harmful interactions can sometimes be grounds for malpractice. It’s important to work with an experienced Florida medical malpractice attorney to determine what the best course of action is for your case.