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Cancer Patient Demonstrates the Importance of Gumption and Courage in the Healthcare System

Cancer Patient Demonstrates the Importance of Gumption and Courage in the Healthcare System

Cancer Patient Demonstrates the Importance of Gumption and Courage in the Healthcare System


The story is Ann Robertson's, but at the same time, this story is not just her story because to say so would mean the story is specific or unique to Ms. Robertson. Unfortunately, this story is anything but atypical. Ann Robertson's saga started in 2002 when at the age of 31 she was diagnosed with breast cancer. This first bout with cancer ended in a double mastectomy and chemotherapy. Needless to say, Ann Robertson is a survivor and a tough one too. In fact, Ms. Robertson's first doctor told her the lump she found in the shower was a bruise, and Ms. Robertson should go home and forget about it. However, Ms. Robertson insisted on the lumps removal, and her suspicions were correct. A test of the lump revealed Ms. Robertson had stage 3 cancer. Based on the nearly missed diagnosis resulting in a complete lack of confidence, Ms. Robertson decided to end her relationship with that doctor and wanted to go to the Siteman Cancer Center. When Ms. Robertson went to her doctor's office to pick up her medical records, the office refused to give Ms. Robertson her records and claimed she could only switch doctors within the same office group. Ms. Robertson refused, and her persistence resulted in her obtaining her medical records. After some time with the Siteman Cancer Center, Ms. Robertson's cancer went into remission. Although Ms. Robertson's story seems unusual, it points out several fallacies in the health care system. These fallacies concern all patients.

Patients are always entitled to copies of their medical records. There may be some type of copying fee associated with getting those records, but an office cannot refuse this request. Ann Robertson proved this premise with her insistent pursuit of her records. Along those same lines, those wanting a deceased or incapacitated spouse's records or a minor child's records have the right to those records.

The health care system can seem overwhelming, but it is important to understand that the health care system is a service industry. Doctors, nurses, and administrators operating within that system work for you. Therefore, a patient must challenge those professionals when the patient feels uncomfortable with a particular result, and this can be done in a civil and respectful manner while at the same time protecting the patient's interests. Many may claim, a doctor knows best, and we as laymen should go along with the recommendations of those trained professions. However, if everyone lived under the rouse of this mantra, Ann Robertson would have died of cancer ten year ago. Patients must stand up for their own interests because if they don't, no one will.

And in that respect, Ann Robertson's story is more of a parable than a narrative.

The firm of Meyerkord & Meyerkord, LLC urges all patients to never take no for an answer. If you or someone you know is dealing with a situation in which it seems a health care provider is pushing you around, please call Meyerkord & Meyerkord, LLC. The firm will be happy to assist you in understanding your rights with a free over-the-phone conversation.

Contact with health care professionals is a necessary part of our society and almost always beneficiary. However, providers are human and mistakes can be made. Even the most careful health care professionals can make a mistake that injures a patient. However, not all medical mistakes rise to the level of malpractice. The skilled medical malpractice attorneys at Meyerkord and Meyerkord, LLC will help you if you believe you are the victim of medical malpractice. Our medical malpractice attorneys continue to set the standard for representation of difficult cases. If you have a medical malpractice issue, contact us at (314) 436-9958 or (800) 391-4318 to schedule a no-obligation meeting with a medical malpractice attorney.

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