Can Overexposure to Medical Tests Lead to Medical Malpractice?
When most Toledo patients go to the doctor and the doctor orders a test, the patient will go through the procedure without question. That makes sense, as medical testing is an important diagnostic tool and can give Toledo doctors some idea as to what is plaguing their patients. Some tests, however, come with a considerable degree of radiation exposure and the overuse of these tests has been linked with a higher rate of cancer. This raises the question of whether overexposure to medical tests may be considered medical malpractice.
As for right now, the question appears to remain unanswered, but it just takes one medical malpractice attorney to get a judge to agree that it would constitute negligent care for it to be recognized as malpractice.
This has been a very touchy subject, as many doctors are hesitant to disclose just how much radiation their patients have been exposed to. This is, in part, because physicians don’t want to discourage patients from undergoing medical testing when it would help diagnose an ailment. More likely, however, is the fear that if a patient develops cancer following medical testing, the doctor who ordered the testing could potentially be held responsible. Yet with five CT scans being the same radiation exposure as having survived the atom bombs in Hiroshima and Ngasaki in 1945, it is understandable that patients in Toledo are concerned.
If physicians tracked the amount of radiation exposure patients have had, it may encourage doctors to utilize other means of medical testing when possible. If there is a radiation-free alternative that is just as effective, why not use it?