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Forms of Fraud and Deceit by Physicians and Dentists

Fraud and deceit usually occur in one of the following forms:

1. Assuring the patient that a diagnosis known to be wrong is correct.

2. Deliberately making a false prognosis as to the risks or outcome of treatment, especially if it is t

o persuade you to submit to surgery, treatment, or expense you would not have had otherwise.

3. Falsely representing what happened while the patient was unconscious or under anesthesia.

4. Falsely representing what was done during surgery and what organs or tissues were removed.

5. Pretending to have skills or training which he does not have.

6. Concealing vital information or a material fact, such as having left a sponge, instrument, etc. inside a patient.

7. Conspiring with another doctor, or any other person, to mislead or deceive you.

Effects of Fraud and Deceit by Physicians and Dentists

Earlier it was stated that a medical malpractice case or a dental malpractice case is not a criminal case, and the court is not going to punish the doctor beyond making him pay for your losses and pain and suffering.  All you can hope to be awarded is what is known as compensatory damages.  That means compensation for the following damages:

1. Your medical and other expenses.

2. Loss of income or the support you would have received from the person who was disabled or died.

3. Pain and suffering, including emotional suffering.

However, if a doctor is guilty of fraud and deceit to induce you to undergo treatment or conceal malpractice, or if he alters or destroys medical or dental records and you discover it, it can strengthen your case in the following ways:

First, jurors do not like doctors, who do these things and will likely award damages.

Second, the judge or jury can award punitive damages, which are in addition to your compensatory damages and are designed to punish the doctor.  They are like a fine, not just to compensate the injured person, but to teach the wrongdoer a lesson.  They are actually a fine, but not like a criminal fine, because the money does not go to the court.  The money from punitive damages goes to the victim.

Third, if a doctor uses fraud or deceit to obtain your consent to treatment or a surgical procedure, the consent is null and void.

Fourth, if the doctor conceals his malpractice after the treatment, it tolls the statute (stops the

clock) on the time limit for you to file your case until you find out about the doctor’s fraud.  But, it has to be active concealment, such as lying to you.  If the doctor failed to tell you there was malpractice that does not count.  The United States Constitution says he does not have to incriminate himself or testify against himself.

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Forms of Fraud and Deceit by Physicians and Dentists”

  1. Lilly says:

    Negligence/Malpractice OR Fraud, OR Both ?

    If a dentist intentionally charges a patient for a service he intentionally did not perform, is it fraud or negligence ?

    Example: Dentist says he did crown lengthening, but did not do so, however he charged the patient for crown lengthening. He placed a crown on the tooth he allegedly lengthened, which he did not. The crown fell off prematurely due to lack of adequate retention, and the lack of crown lengthening became visible. What is the basis for the lawsuit: fraud or negligence, or both ?
    It appears to be rather fraud to me, but there is a flavor of negligence in the picture due to other factors: no informed consent. However, is it possible that he did not take an informed consent intentionally, so he could dispute breach of contract ? He gave also intentionally misleading information on the prognosis of the tooth, such as that it takes 6 – 12 months to heal while it heals in 6 – 8 weeks. He disputed liability immediately when contacted regarding the premature failure of the crown, saying “1 year passed; I’m not liable anymore.” (Was untrue, 1 year had not passed yet.) The 6 – 12 months healing time was an intentional exaggeration, to dispute liability.

  2. JDMD Talbot says:

    Thank you for your message. You should contact an attorney in your state to advise you as to whether you have a basis for a lawsuit for negligence or fraud.

    Elizabeth Talbott
    JD.MD, Inc.

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