Is It Medical Malpractice When A Patient Dies By Suicide?
Patients who suffer harm as the result of preventable errors have the right to seek damages by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. The families of patients who died after doctors’ actions caused the patient’s health to suffer an irreversible decline also have recourse to medical malpractice lawsuits. For example, some possible reasons for medical malpractice lawsuits include injuring healthy tissues during surgery and prescribing drugs that are contraindicated for the patient because of their medical history. It is also possible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit because of an error of omission rather than an error of commission, in other words, something the doctor failed to do instead of something the doctor did. Examples include failing to order a diagnostic test, based on the patient’s symptoms, that could have led to an accurate diagnosis earlier, when the prognosis would have been better, and an emergency room physician failing to admit a patient to the hospital when the patient’s health was too fragile for the patient to be safe at home. If you suffered serious injuries because doctors did not take your symptoms seriously until it was too late, contact a South Carolina medical malpractice lawyer.
Man Dies by Suicide Shortly After Being Arrested on Attempted Murder Charges
Lloyd Bradley Turner struggled with mental illness and addiction to alcohol and drugs for many years. He spent 70 days in an inpatient addiction treatment program and went home in August 2019, but he relapsed several weeks later. On October 2, 2019, he attacked his father with a hammer, stole his father’ money, and drove away in his father’s car in an attempt to buy cocaine. Police caught up to him and arrested him on charges of attempted murder.
Upon arrival at the Lexington County Detention Center, Turner underwent a medical evaluation by a doctor and a nurse. Although Turner disclosed that he had been experiencing suicidal ideation, the detention center medical staff did not place him on suicide watch. Turner died by suicide in his jail cell on October 6. He was 45 years old.
Turner’s wife Kim Turner filed a lawsuit against the Lexington County Detention Center in October 2021, alleging medical malpractice. She also named the doctor and nurse who evaluated Turner as defendants. In other cases, doctors who have failed to respond appropriately to patients’ complaints of suicidal ideation have been held liable for medical malpractice when those patients died by suicide. Mrs. Turner may argue that the standard of care for doctors evaluating jail inmates requires a thorough investigation of the patient’s mental health and suicide risk, especially if the patient appears to be having a mental health crisis.
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Doctors seeing a patient for the first time do not have time to do a thorough medical history, but they should ask sufficiently in-depth questions relevant to the current emergency. A Columbia medical malpractice lawyer can help you if doctors did not respond appropriately to a patient’s mental health crisis. Contact The Stanley Law Group for help with your case.