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The Role of the Justice System in Diagnostic Error

April Liwinag’s mother suffered a missed diagnosis of breast cancer. Now April looks at the role of the justice system in making doctors more accountable, and less apt to make diagnostic mistakes.

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From April:

In my essay entitled, “Diagnostic Error and the Justice System: How Can We Hope for a Cure if Physicians Fail to Diagnose Breast Cancer in Patients?,” I discuss my mother’s delayed breast cancer diagnosis and how the justice system can play a role by encouraging the healthcare system to improve their practices to eliminate misdiagnosis.

Although the justice system is inherently reactive and money is never enough to make the plaintiff whole, holding physicians accountable for their negligence may deter them from deviating from the standard of care, such as failing to perform a mammogram or biopsy. There are obvious limitations to turning to the legal system as a solution for eliminating misdiagnosis, namely, the damage having already been done. However, the same way you should be an advocate for your own health, the justice system is an available remedy when physicians fail to advocate for your health too.

Please select this link to read my essay in its entirety.

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