There are many clear-cut cases of medical malpractice that occur in Florida and other parts of the country. For example, a doctor may operate on the wrong body part or misdiagnose a patient and cause him or her to suffer from a worsened medical condition or even die. However, can a doctor’s negligence cause a patient to commit suicide? That was what jurors had to decide after a doctor was accused of medical malpractice and wrongful death after a golfer who played for the Ladies Professional Golf Association was found dead in her home.
Erica Blasberg was a rising star on the LPGA circuit when her body was found in the bedroom of her Nevada home in May 2010. She had tried to call her doctor in the early morning hours, but he did not pick up the phone. He then tried to call her back several hours later. He also tried again in the afternoon before going to her home.
The doctor entered the golfer’s home through an unlocked door and found her dead upstairs. Her head was covered in a plastic bag, and she had left a suicide note. An autopsy showed that she died of asphyxia, but she also had various prescription drugs in her body at the time of death.
Blasberg’s parents filed the medical malpractice and wrongful death suits against the doctor. However, the jury ruled in favor of the doctor, mainly because he did not prescribe the medications, and he was not negligent in treating her.
Although doctors do make mistakes, everyone has a responsibility to take care of their own health and not every adverse health event is considered negligence on the doctor’s part. The plaintiffs in this case did not have significant evidence proving that the doctor’s actions led to the woman’s death.
Source: AL.com, “Doctor cleared in wrongful death, medical malpractice lawsuit involving late LPGA player” Tommy Hicks, May. 14, 2014