Widow Sues Veteran's Hospital, Claims Negligently Prescribed Medication Resulted in Husband's Death

A Georgia woman has recently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia, blaming the hospital for her husband’s death. According to a local news article, the plaintiff’s husband was a U.S. military veteran and had been previously diagnosed with serious kidney problems when he went to the defendant hospital to receive treatment for prostate cancer.

medication-1329267The patient was given a prescription in May 2014 for Zometa, a medicine that should not have been prescribed to him based on his kidney condition and that allegedly aggravated his existing kidney problem. According to the lawsuit, the medicine caused the patient’s kidneys to fail, forcing him to begin daily dialysis treatments within two weeks of his prescription and resulting in his death in February 2015.

Drug Interactions and Dangerous Drugs for Persons with Existing Conditions Place a Specific Duty on Medical Providers

The lawsuit filed in this case alleges that the doctors and other medical providers were negligent in caring for the patient because they should have noticed his previously existing kidney condition and refrained from prescribing the Zometa, which is “considered highly dangerous for people with kidney problems” according to the complaint.

Doctors who are prescribing multiple drugs that may interact with each other or treating patients with pre-existing conditions have a professional duty to research a patient’s medical history and recognize foreseeable complications that may arise from the treatment being given. The failure of a doctor to notify and gain informed consent from the patient for such treatments may give rise to a case of medical malpractice. Victims of prescription errors and oversights can often obtain compensation for the damages that result from such medical negligence.

The Existence of Multiple Serious Medical Problems Does Not Relieve Doctors from Their Duties

Some of the reader comments that have been left on the online version of the local article reporting on this case argue that while the patient and his wife deserve sympathy, the medical providers who prescribed the Zometa should not be held responsible even if it did cause the patient’s death, since he was suffering from serious kidney problems and prostate cancer and was probably going to die soon anyway. Such an argument is often made by doctors and hospitals who are sued for medical malpractice, and it is not generally accepted by the courts to relieve a negligent doctor of liability for his or her malpractice.

When a patient would die on their own without treatment, this does not give medical providers the right to give negligent treatment and accelerate the death with impunity. Sick and injured people trust doctors to help them make an informed decision concerning their medical treatment. Doctors should perform the necessary research, notice potentially harmful drug reactions, communicate the risks to the patients and their families, and allow them to decide on a course of treatment. This is true whether a patient is in perfect health or seriously ill.

Are You a Victim of Medical Malpractice?

If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice or a prescription error, contacting a skilled Baltimore medical malpractice attorney is the first step to getting the award that you deserve. The Maryland and Washington DC medical malpractice attorneys at Wais, Vogelstein, Forman & Offutt have detailed knowledge of the law as it applies to our clients’ cases, and we can make sure that we do everything we can to ensure our clients will be fairly compensated before moving forward with a settlement or proceeding with a case to trial. The Maryland malpractice attorneys at Wais, Vogelstein, Forman & Offutt represent victims of medical malpractice and negligence nationwide, including prescription errors. Call us today at (410) 567-0800 or contact us online for a free consultation

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