When physicians prescribe “snake oil” treatments or fail to adequately inform patients of potential risks, they negligently place patients at risk of serious injury or death. Physicians have a duty of care to their patients that includes informing them of the efficacy and safety of treatments. In Illinois, patients and their medical malpractice lawyers can pursue claims for compensation against physicians who violate this responsibility.
Dangerous and Unproven Treatments
Snake oil treatments are nothing new. However, the digital era has brought forth an explosion of unproven theories and a myriad of harmful treatments. These advertised theories and promised remedies are not built on sound science. Rather, they take kernels of truth and spin them into a web of lies that ensnare unsuspecting individuals hoping for miracle cures into potentially fatal situations.
These include stem cell therapies that promise cures for everything from blindness to multiple sclerosis. It includes the prescription of homeopathic medicines that are not FDA approved and are manufactured by companies that do not adhere to established safety protocols. It includes the pursuit of unnecessary surgeries and the implantation of substandard medical devices that have known safety defects. Physicians who provide these dangerous and unproven therapies, treatments, and unnecessary surgeries are driven by profit rather than patient care. They reap significant financial rewards through their negligent actions and malfeasance.
Medical Malpractice & Fraud
The FDA is increasingly cracking down on fraudulent actors who spin wondrous tales of miracle cures and fantastic results. These include physicians, pill producers, and others who create products and provide treatments without regard to the considerable physical and financial harm they cause for patients in the United States.
Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States. One of the most common causes of patient death is physician fraud. When physicians make fraudulent claims to patients that result in physical harm or loss of life, patients are entitled to pursue compensation for their injuries. This includes compensation for lost wages, loss of quality of life, pain and suffering, medical expenses, wrongful death, etc. However, Illinois law does not allow individuals or their survivors to seek punitive damages in medical malpractice cases.
Many instances of fraud involve the willing participation of advertisers, physicians, medical device manufacturers, pharmacists, healthcare administrators, etc. When these actors are caught, they can face conspiracy and manslaughter charges in criminal court for their actions.