The brain is a very complicated organ. In fact, scientists have purportedly barely scratched the surface of understanding how it operates and how it responds to treatment. There are people who suffer from chronic brain conditions who seek treatment in an effort to eliminate or at least lessen the symptoms. One resident of Louisiana has filed a case against her doctor, alleging that his failure to diagnose her condition has caused her irreparable damage.
The woman in the case, the plaintiff, suffered from chronic brain tremors. Her doctor recommended surgery, reportedly saying that it would alleviate some of the symptoms she was experiencing. An electrode was surgically implanted on the right side of her brain. The woman’s doctor apparently projected that deep stimulation over time would succeed in reducing the number of tremors she was experiencing.
After several years of allegedly unsuccessful treatment, the doctor removed the electrode. The woman is now reportedly permanently disabled. The plaintiff has accused her doctor of failing to properly diagnose her condition and failing to perform the surgery appropriately. The woman is seeking pain and suffering, disability and medical expenses, among other things. The amount of the suit was not immediately available.
The question at the heart of the case is whether the doctor, and thereby the hospital where he practices, acted in such a way as to bring about the worsened condition experienced by the plaintiff. If the doctor failed to provide an adequate level of care, which is part of the oath that he took, the woman’s case has merit. Under Louisiana law, compensatory and punitive damages may be awarded if it is determined that her doctor’s failure to diagnose her condition has contributed to her illness. The damages that the woman is seeking could help ease some of the financial burden she is carrying as a result.
Source: The Louisiana Record, Woman sues Tulane University Hospital, neurosurgeon after electrode implantation surgery, Eliza Walker, Nov. 21, 2013