Sometimes, a patient reaches a point in their treatment where continued attempts at containing or healing their illness is ineffective. At this stage, the patient’s doctor may suggest that he or she stop receiving curative treatment and instead, look into palliative treatment.
As a patient, it can be shocking to hear this news from your doctor. In most cases, doctors reach this conclusion after fully weighing all of the patient’s options. Failing to do so is a failure to comply with the standard of care for your condition, which is a form of medical negligence. A doctor may suggest stopping treatment if he or she feels the risks associated with treatment outweigh the potential benefit or if treatment would not improve the patient’s quality of life.
Consider Getting a Second Opinion
Speaking with another specialist about your condition and your treatment options can give you clarity about your prognosis. A second doctor might give you the same information you received from your first doctor, or he or she could have different ideas about your treatment. It never hurts to obtain a second opinion about your care, especially when you are facing a decision as heavy as potentially stopping your treatment.
Educated yourself About your Condition and Treatment Options
Along with your second opinion, do independent research about your condition and your treatment options. Ask your doctor about unconventional or experimental treatments – you could potentially be part of a clinical study that might not only help you, but would contribute valuable knowledge to the medical field.
Consider Palliative Treatment
When it is certain that curative treatment will no longer help you, consider seeking palliative treatment. This is treatment meant to minimize your symptoms and keep you comfortable, both physically and mentally. You may consider seeking hospice care, which you can receive at home or in a hospice care facility.
Work with an Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Your doctor’s job is to act in your best interest. If he or she suggests that you stop treatment, you have the right to seek a second opinion. You also have the right to challenge your doctor’s suggestion if you feel you can benefit from continued treatment. If your doctor fails to abide by the standard of care for your condition or violates your rights as a patient, such as failing to obtain your informed consent before making a decision about your treatment, you could have grounds to recover compensation from your resulting damages through a medical malpractice claim. To learn more about your rights and options in this position, speak with one of the experienced medical malpractice lawyers (https://www.baizlaw.com/practice-areas/medical-malpractice/) on our team at Baizer Kolar, P.C. Contact our firm today to set up your initial consultation with us.