Doctors are human, and some have drinking and drug problems.
It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to understand that an accurate diagnosis of a patient involves being completely present and with it – meaning not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Doctors are human, and therefore prey to addictions, just like the rest of us. However, since they have a higher standard to live up to, given the nature of their jobs, they need to do their work with a clear head. If they don’t, bad things happen to good people.
It’s a given that drugs, alcohol and even lack of sleep slows response time and messes with judgment. Most of us clearly recall those times when we have crossed the line by having too much to drink and then not recalling what did or didn’t happen next. We may also recall some of the dumb decisions we made while under the influence. Fortunately, we were not dealing with patients’ lives.
Recent statistics have shown that boozing while on-call and on-duty is a shade short of being out of control. Addiction to prescription narcotics also plays an enormous role in medical health professionals lives. Is this due to the long and arduous hours they work? Possibly. However, the danger of doctors and other medical personnel using substances that alter how their brain’s function is patently obvious; impaired judgment leads to serious injury or death.
Under the influence physicians are prone to making mistakes in various moments such as during the birth of a child, prescribing medications, while performing surgery, while assessing patients in the ER and when delaying or missing a patient diagnosis. The long and short of it is that if you smell alcohol on your doctor’s breath, think twice about what you have been told and seek a second opinion if warranted. It’s your health and your life.
If you have sustained an injury as the result of dealing with an intoxicated health professional, now is the time to call an experienced Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer for help. His job is to make sure you get fair and equitable compensation. Be aware that there is a statute of limitations on filing medical malpractice lawsuits, and if the deadline passes, your action is barred and cannot be continued.
Also keep in mind that every interaction that does not make you a happy patient is not considered to be medical malpractice. Merely being dissatisfied with the doctor does not mean they have been negligent. If you have questions about a situation you may have experienced, call a Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer and ask questions. It is entirely possible that while you may be just fine right now, some complications might make their presence known later.