When people are suffering from an illness or disease, receiving adequate treatment is one resource that can be instrumental in helping them to recover. However, the process of coordinating a treatment plan must be accurate and timely to avoid unnecessarily compromising an ill patient’s health even more. Achieving accuracy and timeliness requires health care providers in New Mexico to provide a thorough diagnosis as quickly as possible.

In a tragic case of delayed diagnosis in North Carolina, an Army Green Beret is now facing a terminal illness that may have been prevented had its signs been recognized in a timely manner. The events began when the veteran made the decision to go through schooling to be a Special Forces diver. With a high stakes medical clearance standing in his way, he underwent a chest scan where doctors had to establish that a prior war wound from a tour of duty in Iraq several years earlier, was not going to be a threat to his ability to dive.

Four months after that initial scan, the veteran made an emergency trip to the hospital when he started experiencing severe chest pains. He was sent home without a correct diagnosis and instructions to take three prescriptions. A little while later after coughing up blood, an accurate diagnosis of lung cancer was given and it was found that his initial chest scan six months earlier revealed a mass near his lung. The veteran and his family feel that a delay of six months could have caused cancer to exponentially increase into what is now a Stage 4, terminal diagnosis. Because of the Feres Doctrine, the veteran’s family cannot sue the doctors who failed to recognize his cancer. They are currently fighting to have the law changed.

If people have suffered worsening medical conditions as the result of a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, they may wish to contact an attorney. Legal professionals understand the laws and can be instrumental in making a case to support victims and get them the compensation they deserve.

Source: NBC News, “U.S. service members can’t sue military doctors. A terminally ill Green Beret is fighting to change that,” Brenda Breslauer, Nov. 12, 2019