Verdict: In the case of incorrectly diagnosed skin cancer, there is a right to compensation for pain and suffering

Verdict: In the case of incorrectly diagnosed skin cancer, there is a right to compensation for pain and suffering



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Overlooking the disease: Right to compensation for pain if skin cancer is recognized too late
Experts have often criticized that there are frequent misdiagnoses of black skin cancer. It is particularly dramatic when a cancer that is recognized too late leads to death. If this happens, patients or relatives may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering.

Claim for compensation in the event of late diagnosis
Many people are aware that many liver spots or flaky skin areas can be indications of skin cancer. However, knowledge of other signs is less common. For example, cancer of the foot is mostly misunderstood and mistaken for a wound or bruise, for example. It is particularly dramatic if an incorrect diagnosis leads to the patient not being treated in time. In some cases, those affected are entitled to compensation for pain and suffering.

The patient died of skin cancer
As the dpa news agency reports, patients are entitled to compensation for pain and suffering if their doctor makes a mistake and therefore overlooks cancer. In a recent ruling, file number 26 U 63/15, the Hamm Higher Regional Court awarded the husband of a woman who had died of skin cancer 100,000 euros. The patient was said to have gone to the dermatologist for a discolored toenail. According to the information, she had previously bumped her toe. The doctor only found a bacterial infection at the appointment and did not perform any further dermatological examination or treatment. Another doctor then diagnosed a skin cancer a year later, which the patient later died of.

Doctor missed examinations
The judges accused the first doctor of missing exams that could have been used to diagnose skin cancer. The fact that the woman had thrust her toe, which is an obvious cause of a nail hematoma, does not change this and did not "release the accused from the duty to carry out the necessary differential diagnosis". The court did not rule out that if the patient had been treated correctly, she might have had a chance of recovery. (ad)

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