Parents sue hospital for medical malpractice

After a highly publicized custody and medical dispute, the family of an out-of-state teenager recently filed a lawsuit against a prestigious out-of-state children's hospital. The suit alleges medical malpractice and civil rights violations. Similarly, when a medical professional deviates from acceptable standards in his or her profession, thereby causing serious injury or other harm to a Tennessee patient, grounds for a medical malpractice suit exist.

The suit contends that a teenager received treatment for mitochondrial disease at a noted medical center. In Feb. 2013, she was referred to a new hospital per a recommendation from the teen's primary physician due to the fact that her gastroenterologist had transferred there. However, instead of being directly admitted to the GI unit there, the suit contends that the teen was "intercepted" by a different doctor in the emergency room, who changed the teen's diagnosis.

This doctor believed the teen's illness was psychosomatic and promptly took her off her current medications. When the parents attempted to discharge the teen, the hospital contacted the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, claiming possible medical child abuse on behalf of the parents. They were accused of interfering with their daughter's medical care by seeking unnecessary treatments. As a result, DCF gained custody of the teen for over a year, during which time she was placed in a psychiatric unit. The parents' allege that when they arrived at the hospital, the teen -- now 17 years old -- only had the flu; now, she cannot walk and is confined to a wheelchair.

When a patient in Tennessee suffers an injury due to the negligence of a medical professional, the victim -- or, as in this case, his or her family -- has the legal right to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit against the party or parties believed to have been negligent. Successfully navigated, this type of claim may result in a monetary judgment for damages sustained. A medical malpractice victim often begins this process by consulting an experienced personal injury attorney to assess the validity of his or her claim.

Source: boston.com, "Family of Justina Pelletier sues Boston Children's Hospital", Dialynn Dwyer, Feb. 25, 2016

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