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Lawsuits & Litigation

Can You Sue a Hospital or Doctor for Denying Medical Treatment?

— July 27, 2022

Under the law, there are some situations when hospitals or doctors may deny a patient treatment. Such scenarios are mostly present in the private health sector.

If a hospital or doctor fails to meet their duty of care, patients may be able to sue them for damages (EMS USA Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act). The emergency medical treatment and active labor act guide people on how to proceed in the scenario.

Factors That Determine Whether You Can Sue a Hospital or Doctor for Denying Medical Treatment

According to a medical malpractice lawyer from Brown & Barron LLC, you can sue a hospital or doctor for not offering care up to standards. Healthcare facilities and medical professionals must provide patients with the best possible care.

The law provision outlines various factors that can guide patients in making their decision on whether to take legal action or not.

The Seriousness of Your Injury

A patient should assess the injury’s seriousness before filing a case against the medical professionals. Unfortunately, minor injuries may get overlooked. Plaintiffs have a better chance of securing damages for severe injuries. However, regardless of the severity of your injury, if you feel wronged, consult a specialized attorney for legal advice.

The Extent of the Injury

During the case investigation, experts should also evaluate the degree to which the doctors or the hospitals cause the injury. If they discover that the injury occurred due to negligence of the medical staff, the case may proceed to court.

Any Other Injuries

Whenever patients experience an injury that results from previous negligence, they can sue the doctors or the hospital responsible for the harm.

Dept. of Defense Sends Medical Teams to Minnesota
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According to the law provisions, some factors can allow a patient to sue a doctor or hospital. In most cases, they can proceed to take legal action if the decision-making process when seeking treatment is based on the following factors.

  • Medical experts fail to treat a patient because of race. It is the mandate of all doctors and hospitals to provide the appropriate care to patients regardless of their racial background. If they decide to deny treatment based on race, the law permits the victim to sue them and seek justice.
  • Doctors refuse to treat a patient because of their nationality, according to the law, people should have access to healthcare services regardless of their country of origin.
  • Doctors refuse treatment based on a patient’s gender. When you encounter gender discrimination in treatment, you are allowed by the law to sue the doctors or the facilities responsible.

When Can a Doctor Deny a Patient Treatment?

Under the law, there are some situations when hospitals or doctors may deny a patient treatment. Such scenarios are mostly present in the private health sector.

This is because such healthcare institutions follow the Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act (EMTALA) legal provisions when treating patients. As a result, a patient should understand that they may fail to get treatment from the hospitals or doctors under the following circumstances:

  • The patient is unable to pay for the treatment.
  • When the hospitals are not taking in new patients, according to the law, a patient may miss treatment.
  • If the healthcare facility does not accept the patient’s health insurance. A patient should understand that doctors can deny them treatment if they do not work in collaboration with their respective health insurance organizations.
  • When a patient report shows repeated substance use behavior. A patient can fail to get treatment legally if they are on continuous drug use despite a doctor’s warning.
  • When the patient represents a danger to the doctors, other patients, and the staff.
  • Under the law, a doctor may deny patients treatment if they intend to obtain drugs. Whenever a patient pretends to be seeking treatment to have access to drugs such as opioids, the doctor can refuse to treat them.

How Can an Attorney Help You?

A legal expert will review the available evidence and investigate to establish grounds for taking legal action. Based on the findings, they will advise you on how to proceed with your case.

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