Having a loved one die while under the care of a doctor is a tragedy most people hope they never have to deal with. But suspecting that your loved one died because of someone else’s negligence can be that much more difficult to bear. And as our readers know, this can lead to litigation in an effort to seek justice.
This was likely how one family felt after learning that the death of their 77-year-old loved one in 2010 was likely exacerbated by a Miami doctor who failed to diagnose her pancreatic cancer in 2008. But the medical error did not stop there, says the victim’s son, who points out that it was later discovered that the doctor had altered his mother’s medical records to avoid punishment for his mistake.
While many of our Miami readers would see this as a perfect example of medical malpractice and would likely file a wrongful death lawsuit if they found themselves in a similar situation, the family in this case was advised against such legal action and told instead to file a complaint with the Department of Health. Believing that the family would get a sense of justice, the victim’s son filed the complaint on his mother’s behalf.
But the Florida Board of Medicine delivered a surprising decision this month when it reversed an earlier decision to revoke the doctor’s license in exchange for a six-month license suspension and a $35,000 fine instead. Now, barring a “review of his riskiness by independent assessors,” the physician could be practicing medicine again in our state.
Though the victim’s son is unhappy with the board’s decision, it is unknown if it will force him to take legal action in an effort “to seek health care justice.”
Source: Health News Florida, “Doctor Suspended for Deception,” Carol Gentry, June 9, 2014