Genetic testing is a medical breakthrough that allows people to know whether they are at risk for certain life-threatening conditions. For example, genetic testing can be used to determine whether someone is at an elevated risk for certain types of cancer. If the physician analyzes the testing correctly, he or she may suggest that a patient undergo preventative surgery to greatly reduce the risk of cancer developing. Unfortunately, as a recent lawsuit shows, sometimes doctors can negligently perform genetic testing and perform completely unnecessary surgeries on a patient. A New York medical malpractice lawyer can help you bring a claim if this has happened to you.
The plaintiff, a woman in her mid-30s, went to visit an obstetrician-gynecologist, who reviewed her genetic testing and concluded that she had a 50% probability of being diagnosed with breast cancer and an 80% chance of being diagnosed with uterine cancer. As a result of the genetic testing, the plaintiff stated that she underwent the recommended procedures, a double mastectomy and a hysterectomy, to reduce her chances of getting those forms of cancer.
Her OB-GYN tested her for two specific gene mutations after the plaintiff notified her physician of a family history of cancer. The lawsuit alleges that the results were negative, but the nurse practitioner misinterpreted the results, and the plaintiff was allegedly told that she had a gene mutation that increased her risk of breast and uterine cancers. The nurse practitioner, who misinterpreted the results, referred the plaintiff to specialists, including a gynecologist, who performed her hysterectomy, and another surgeon, who performed her double mastectomy and reconstruction. The lawsuit complaint alleges that neither of the doctors independently confirmed the genetic testing results.