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People with autism may be vulnerable to medical malpractice 

On Behalf of | Oct 16, 2022 | Medical Malpractice |

You expect your doctor to listen to you. You communicate your experiences, symptoms, and concerns in a doctor’s exam room. The doctor listens and examines to determine any validity of underlying medical issues.

What happens, though, when you struggle with communication? There are a growing number of people who are diagnosed with autism. As autism can affect how one communicates and receives information, you may wonder if they’re at a greater risk of medical malpractice.

Communicating a poor experience

Autism is a neurological disorder affecting development in various areas. As it’s a spectrum disorder presenting symptoms can range from person to person. Two major areas that are commonly affected are communication and sensory processing.

Part of the doctor-patient relationship is a communication exchange. One study found that autistic people have poor healthcare experiences and are more likely to have chronic physical and mental health conditions.

A duty to care

The healthcare industry can be a fast-paced environment. However, a doctor has a duty to give each patient a certain level of quality care. Should a patient’s diagnosis lower that level of care? No, all people are entitled to quality care.

Though the study didn’t find absolute answers as to why there is a disparity in quality of care between neurotypical patients and those with autism, people with autism reported difficulty with:

  • Expressive language
  • Understanding pain scales
  • Describing symptoms

Autistic people may struggle with communication; however, given that knowledge, the treatment approach may need to be adjusted. Failure to listen or receive information from people with autism could lead to misdiagnosis, missed diagnosis, or delayed treatments.

Suppose you or someone you love with autism has experienced poor healthcare treatment. In that case, you may be wondering if it was medical negligence. Learning more about the laws regarding medical malpractice may help you know your legal rights.