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New York medical malpractice rules prompt criticism

| Jun 17, 2015 | Failure to Diagnose

The effective treatment of many different forms of cancer largely depends upon early detection and intervention. That is why New York physicians and other medical professionals are trained on how to accurately detect the early symptoms of cancer, as well as implement the necessary treatments as quickly as possible. After all, failing to do so can have catastrophic consequences for cancer patients and their families. Many patients and patient advocates are raising awareness to the fact that while incidents of medical negligence are damaging enough, current state malpractice guidelines are hurting patients as well.

In most states, the time period in which a medical malpractice plaintiff can pursue claims begins when the misdiagnosis is discovered. In New York, the time period begins when the mistake occurs. That means that the amount of time that lapses between the incident itself and the moment of discovery detracts from the window for pursuing claims. This stipulation is particularly damaging for cancer patients and their families, as it can take years to determine that a misdiagnosis was made.

Due to the fact that some cancer patients and their families are denied the opportunity to pursue medical malpractice claims because of state policies, some patient advocates and politicians are calling for changes to the system. In fact, the Governor of New York claimed that he would sign new legislation on the matter. Others argue, however, that making it easier for patients to pursue litigation does nothing to improve an already damaged malpractice system. Still, many are hoping that a prospective bill dedicated to a cancer misdiagnosis victim will continue to move forward.

Source: CBS New York, “Patient Advocates Urge Closure of Malpractice Loophole,” June 15, 2015

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