Case of Medical Malpractice Leads to License Revocation | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

On August 20, 2009, the Virginia Board of Medicine issued an order permanently revoking a physician’s medical license. This revocation was in regards to the physician’s treatment of a 75-year-old patient with a history of radiation therapy for prostate cancer.

The physician was a urologist at the Southwest Virginia Medical Center in Richlands, Virginia (VA), who treated the patient between October 2004 and October 2006 thirteen times. During these visits, the patient complained of hematuria and discomfort while urinating.

The Board of Medicine found that the physician did not take into account the patient’s “history, symptoms, and a finding of atypical cells” while performing a urine cytology in October of 2004.

The result was that the physician failed to order necessary diagnostic tests that would have shown the cause of the patient’s hematuria. By December of 2006, the patient had developed high-grade muscle-invasive urothelial carcinoma, an extremely aggressive form of cancer. When he was last heard from, the patient’s prognosis was considered poor.

While I’m glad this complaint was taken seriously by the Board of Medicine, it does not excuse the doctor’s behavior, or offer any assistance to the patient. That man’s life, and the lives of his friends and family, have been permanently and negatively altered due to a physician’s failure to diagnose.

Along with medical malpractice cases involving failure to treat, failure to diagnose is one of the main reasons that victims seek the assistance of a qualified attorney. If you suffer a painful, chronic, or irreversible condition and suspect it was due to medical negligence, a capable legal firm may be able to get compensation for your loss.