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Woman claims lack of insurance led doctors to deny treatment

The failure to provide treatment is one of many reasons someone may decide to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctors responsible for providing care in the state of Pennsylvania. Considering doctors' creed of "do not harm," most would agree that there is no good reason for not helping an injured or ill patient who is seeking assistance. Despite this, in some instances it is possible that patients are not provided the care they need.

One Allegheny County woman believes this occurred where her husband was concerned. She recently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit on behalf of her husband after he died while a patient at UPMC. In addition to the hospital, the woman named four physicians as plaintiffs. The basis of the lawsuit is that the named plaintiffs did not provide the treatment he needed. She said this was due to the fact that he did not have health insurance. As a result of that failure, the woman claims her husband died.

Before the man died he was admitted to the hospital for diverticulitis. Despite one doctor who examined him indicating the man could have a fistula in his intestines, no further steps were taken to either confirm or treat the condition and the man died less than a week later. According to the woman's lawyer, the man should have undergone surgery to address the physical ailment.

The woman asserts that the individuals who were assigned to treat her husband did not do everything they could. She believes this is because of a note that was written on the man's health records indicating that they did not have insurance. To compensate for the man's death the woman is seeking monetary damages.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Woman says hospital, doctors let her husband die," Paula Reed Ward, June 28, 2013

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