Arizona residents may want to know more about how medical testimony may impact a case. Depending on the circumstances, a lawyer may ask another medical professional to act as an expert witness in a court case, which could help bolster or even possibly undermine an injured patient's claim against a negligent doctor. However, in a Sept. 23 media report, a retired South Dakota surgeon revealed that not all medical testimony is reliable.
According to the article, the surgeon admitted to lying in court in a case that took place more than two decades ago. He had been called to vouch for a colleague's expertise in a surgery where the patient had suffered a stroke after an operation. When he was called to testify regarding whether or not his colleague's care was substandard, the surgeon said no instead of relaying his doubts of his associate's skills to the jury. The former surgeon stated he was asked to testify on behalf of the other doctor because there is an implication in the medical field that doctors do not disclose other physician's mistakes.
Although the American College of Surgeons and the American Medical Association advocate for patient care, some doctors may still not be forthcoming with all of the information when a patient is injured. This may be due because some medical professionals fear backlash from others in the field if they admit to medical mistakes. Additionally, doctors also worry about being isolated from their peers.
When a patient is injured due to medical negligence, that individual may want to speak to an attorney regarding his or her options. A misdiagnosis or wrong surgery could lead to a worsened condition and more medical expenses. If a case is successful, a patient could be awarded compensation for his or her hospital costs as well as possibly for pain and suffering.