Understanding Naturopathic Medicine and What are a Victim’s Options After Naturopathic Medical Malpractice in Oregon
There are many different forms of medical malpractice that could occur. Broadly, they are all different types of negligence cases. A negligent case is a type of case that is based on a duty, breach of that duty, and that the breach causes damages to a victim. All medical malpractice cases are couched in terms of negligence. But there are many different claims or angles to negligence cases. This is because negligence cases can be difficult without an experienced lawyer. One type of negligence case is naturopathic medical malpractice in Oregon, and it can lead to very serious damages and even the wrongful death of an innocent person.
Unfortunately, many times naturopathic medical malpractice in Oregon results in serious personal injuries that are irreversible. This means that individuals could be irreparably harmed by the negligence of a healthcare provider who has failed to protect their health as required by their duty of care. Victims and their families can recover compensation for this type of negligence cause of action, including compensation for personal injuries that are yet to occur but are proven to likely occur in the future. Learn how our lawyers can help protect your rights to compensation during a FREE consultation.
What is Naturopathic Medicine?
As defined by American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, naturopathic medicine is a form of alternative medicine which focuses on improving the immune system along with providing herbal solutions through herbal supplements to help the body heal itself. It also uses non-traditional methods towards improving one’s immunity. Naturopathic physicians take a holistic prevention approach while practicing naturopathic medicine.
These physicians place a big emphasis on non-invasive therapies. Their methods and beliefs are not based on evidenced based practice as practiced in western medicine. This holistic approach includes a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of the patient. Common examples of naturopathic medicine includes use of herbal remedies, acupuncture, massage, nutritional counseling and exercise.
Prevalence in the US
According to the Mayo Clinic, more than 30% of adults use some form of health are approaches that are not associated with conventional medicine. Some figures have this actually around 40%. These are generally known as complementary and alternative medicine, or CAM treatments. They are more common than you may think too, being that between 1/3 and almost a half of Americans utilize these services each year.
A Naturopath’s Scope of Practice
There are certain restrictions and guidelines put in place by each state when it comes to the capability of naturopathic physicians. In 20 states and the district of Columbia, naturopathic physicians are allowed to write certain prescriptions and order certain medical tests such as x-rays and blood tests while in the rest of the states, they are restricted to operate as naturopaths and provide non-prescription treatments and health advice to patients. Straying from their scope of practice can be considered medical malpractice if it harms a patient.
Common Instance When Naturopaths Can Harm a Patient: Childbirth
There are many common instances of when a naturopath could negligently cause injury to an innocent person and therefore naturopathic medical malpractice in Oregon could occur. The most glaring and obvious cause is for any type of treatment of a disease or condition like cancer with herbal medicine.
But the growing trend with about 20% and rising of all individuals using CAM and naturopathic treatment is during pregnancy and labor and delivery. This largely has become the renewed age of using midwives and home pregnancies rather than going to the normal hospital and having a physician or OB-GYN. Which corresponds with the increase in CAM and naturopathic solutions, as well as the increase in child birth injuries.
But naturopathic medical malpractice in Oregon for birth injuries can be catastrophic and even devastating to a family and an innocent child. This is because a mother may rely on a naturopathic healthcare provider to perform procedures or treat symptoms that really need to be properly evaluated and treated in ways that a naturopathic provider cannot. This could include imaging studies, powerful medications, or even surgical intervention. The failure to do so could be catastrophic. This is why this form of negligence is very serious in Oregon and can be deadly.
How Can A Naturopath Be Held Liable for Medical Malpractice?
While people traditionally think of traditional medicine physicians being made liable for medical malpractice, naturopaths are just as able to be held liable for their negligence. This is because, within each discipline of medicine, there are standards of care that must be upheld. Anything the falls below the standard of care that causes harm to a patient can be considered medical malpractice. Examples in which naturopaths can be held liable for medical malpractice include the following:
Failure to make a referral: If a naturopath evaluates a patient and identifies that their illness is out of their scope of practice or requires more of a western based approach but fails to refer to such a physician, they can be held accountable for their negligence. This is because if a patient has a life threatening condition that the naturopath identifies but decides to attempt to treat them anyway with alternative medicine, it can lead to serious harm or death of the patient.
Medication Errors: If a homeopathic physician prescribes an alternative medicine that is not safe, this can be deemed medical malpractice. Examples of unsafe homeopathic therapy can include some forms of IV infusion vitamin therapy and chelation therapy. These medication errors can also lead to wrongful death or serious harm of the patient.
Failure to Prescribe Necessary Medication: If a homeopathic doctor fails to prescribe necessary medication because they do not like prescribing western medicine, they can be held negligent. This is because if the physician is aware that a medication could help them but chooses not to recommend the medication to the patient, the patient could face serious harm. While not all naturopaths are able to prescribe medication under law, it is their duty to refer to an outside physician who is able to prescribe the medication if that is what the patient is in need of.
How Can our Oregon Naturopathic Medical Malpractice Lawyers Help You?
It is a physicians’ duty (naturopath or traditional medicine) to do no harm. When they breach those standards that they are supposed to adhere to, negligence can occur. While many people seeking traditional medicine often think of naturopaths as causing less harm due to the lack of invasiveness of their treatments, the truth of the matter is they can cause just as much harm as a traditional physician, or sometimes even more.
If you or your loved one suffered harm at the hands of a naturopath physician due to naturopathic medical malpractice in Oregon, we encourage you to call our office today to have our attorneys review your case. This is because if you suffered harm due to a physicians’ negligence, justice should be served. If it is determined that you suffered harm due to medical malpractice, you may be eligible for compensation. Compensation may include the following:
- Past physical pain and suffering
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Future physical pain and suffering
- Past, present and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost future wages
- Burial and funeral expenses
- Loss of consortium
These are just a few of the many examples of damages. Learn how we can help protect your rights today.
Call our Naturopathic Medical Malpractice in Oregon Lawyers
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form. We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.
Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles, St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.
We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.