Oregon and the rest of the country regularly confront health care problems caused when medical providers do not deliver a minimum standard of care with respect to basic medical procedures. For example, one major area of medical negligence has to do with ignoring either symptoms or actual test results and failing to make a correct diagnosis. When a patient dies or loses several years of quality life due to a medical provider's misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose, the provider will be legally liable for monetary damages to the injured patient.

A prominent former U.S. Congressman recently filed a claim against a government agency for failing to find the signs of his pancreatic cancer which showed up on tests taken in 2012. A doctor at the George Washington University Hospital did observe a lesion in examining the MRI of Congressman Steve LaTourette's pancreas at that time. He told the Office of the Attending Physician of the U.S. Congress (OAP), which is supposed to supervise a congressman's care. LaTourette's pending claim says that the OAP did nothing to follow up and did not even tell him about it.

LaTourette is now reportedly in grave medical condition due to the progression of the pancreatic cancer that was not discovered until last year by another doctor. He is apparently in such advanced danger that he has asked a federal judge to allow the taking of his deposition now in case he dies prior to the suit moving forward. The suit is for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, permanent loss of earning capacity and for mental anguish and suffering.

It the allegations are proven to be true, the plaintiff  will likely be entitled to a substantial recovery for what appears to be a clear case of carelessness leading to a misdiagnosis that caused fatal inaction. Obviously, when a medical provider receives the kind of critical information alleged here, the provider must act quickly to assure that the potentially cancerous growth is attacked early and most effectively. That is a basic general rule of duty, common sense and negligence that applies in Oregon as well as every other jurisdiction.

Source: politico.com, "Ex-congressman plans malpractice suit against feds", Erin Mershon, May 27, 2015