Non-Compliance Is A Valid Medical Malpractice Defense

Thousands of people are injured due to medical negligence or error every year. These cases are valid and doctors often have no solid defense. In other cases, a patient may indeed be injured or suffer in some way, but it is due to their own error or misjudgment. In these instances, defense teams are quick to point to patient non-compliance as a reason for the injury. But what is non-compliance?

Non-compliance in a patient occurs when a person fails to follow a doctor’s advice, misses appointments on a regular basis, or even refuses to take medication as prescribed. In general, a patient does not act in their own best interests after seeking medical treatment. There are a variety of reasons for medical non-compliance. Here are the most common:

1. Denial

Following a doctor’s orders means acceptance of a diagnosis. For some people, this is frightening. They do not want to face the reality of their situations. In other cases, a diagnosis may be made but the person may be asymptomatic. This can lead to a denial of the condition.

2. Difficulty of Regimen

Some people may have difficulty following their doctor’s instructions. A good example of this is waking up to take a pill during the night. Another example may be an inability to open a pill container.

3. Cost

For those without medical insurance or patients who have medical insurance with high deductibles, the cost of treatment or continued treatment can be prohibitive. The more the average patient has to pay, the less likely they are to follow through with their treatment.

4. Perceived or Real Side Effects

At times, the side effects of a treatment option can be off-putting. A patient may choose to not deal with the side effects of a prescription medication. In some cases, a treatment option may have myths and misconceptions surrounding it, making a patient less likely to follow through due to perceived side effects.

5. No Trust

When patients don’t trust their doctors, they are less likely to follow through with further appointments or treatment options. A patient must be convinced that a doctor can treat them successfully. When a person does not have trust in their medical provider, they are less likely to follow their instructions.

6. Past Experience

This is more common among patients with chronic conditions. They may have tried several treatment options in the past that didn’t work and be reluctant to continue trying. They may also have visited a certain medical care provider who did not help them in the past and be less likely to follow their instructions in the future.

A lack of compliance with a medical professional’s directives is not always present, but it is the case in some instances. It is important for a patient to follow the treatment plan given them by their doctor and if they do not feel it is the right choice for them, to seek another opinion.

If you believe that you have been harmed by a medical professional in Charleston, reach out to our team of attorneys today. We will review the details of your injury during your free case evaluation and advise you of your options.

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