Many New Mexico patients may have heard how it is extremely important to get a second opinion. However, thosewho are diagnosed with an illness may feel confused about their diagnosis and may want to begin treatment immediately. While prompt treatment can save a person’s life, it can also lead to unneeded or even dangerous treatment if the patient received a misdiagnosis.
In general, it is always recommended that people seek a second opinion if they are diagnosed with a serious or even life-threatening illness. Doing so allows them to ensure they have the correct diagnosis and to potentially learn about other options that may be available. Further, patients who are not confident in the one they were given may also wish to seek another opinion to avoid a potential misdiagnosis that could be deadly if it leads to inappropriate or delayed treatment.
Patients should finally also consider getting a second opinion if they are not comfortable with the treatment plan the doctor has recommended. In many cases there are several treatment plans that may be available. Different treatments could have different side effects and risks, so these should be considered before making a decision.
A failure to diagnose a serious or life-threatening disease can of course lead to significant physical and financial harm, but not all such errors constitute medical malpractice. In order for a plaintiff to be successful in a resulting lawsuit, it will need to be demonstrated that the mistake constituted a failure of the physician to adhere to the requisite standard of care.