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Erring On The Side Of Malpractice: When Cautious Treatment Causes Harm

Erring On The Side Of Malpractice: When Cautious Treatment Causes Harm


For medical professionals, perhaps nothing is more ironic than when actions taken to avoid medical malpractice negligence actually cause it. Yet unnecessary testing and treatment occur constantly in the U.S. medical industry. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the National Academy of Medicine reports that unnecessary testing alone is performed to the tune of over $200 billion a year.1

Beyond the monetary implications of such actions is the potential for harm to patients.  Unnecessary testing can cause delays in medical care that in turn can result in improper treatment, advancement of illness, or even death. Further, unneeded treatment in itself can cause illness, injury, or death. The overuse of antibiotics as a cautious measure, for example, can lead to medical malpractice negligence in that patients may develop antibiotic resistance or infections as a result of such treatment.2 Overtreatment is an acknowledged cause of preventable harm.3

Another scenario related to medical malpractice negligence involves emergency room visits in which numerous time-consuming, and even unrelated, tests are performed on a patient, causing delays in problem-specific emergency treatment and potential subsequent harm.

Doctors, physicians, physician’s assistants, medical specialists, and even hospitals and medical centers may promote the use of unnecessary testing, treatment, or both in an attempt to keep medical malpractice insurance costs down. While physicians are beginning to recognize that patients are receiving too much healthcare,4 the number of sources from which cautious testing and treatment are promoted increases risks to patients.

Overall, Florida medical malpractice negligence continues to be a serious multi-faceted concern for all ages.

If you have been injured due to Medical Malpractice Negligence in Florida, or if a loved one has been injured or has died due to Medical Malpractice Negligence in Florida, contacting an experienced lawyer or expert legal team for an initial consultation is an important step. It is helpful to research information about lawyers who specialize in Medical Malpractice Negligence cases, or if possible, who specialize in the specific type of Medical Malpractice Negligence lawsuit case you may be dealing with, including one involving patient harm caused by unnecessary testing or treatment.

Many lawyers and legal teams offer free initial consultations. At Mallard & Sharp, P.A., we specialize in a wide variety of cases, including Medical Malpractice Negligence in Miami, South Florida, or any other area in Florida. To schedule a free initial consultation with our expert legal team please call 877.662.5527 or 305.461.4800.


2 Sullivan T. Antibiotic overuse and Clostridium difficile: a teachable moment. JAMA Intern Med 2014;174:1219–20. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.2299 [PubMed] [Google Scholar]



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