Can a Doctor Commit Medical Malpractice by Ordering a Medical Test?

Many doctors claim that they order unnecessary medical tests because they fear  medical malpractice lawsuits.  Does this fear lead to better care for the patient or, might it actually harm a patient?  The answer to that question depends on the particular patient.

If a doctor orders a CT Scan, or another test, because the doctor does not have the time to conduct a full medical exam and get a full medical history and the CT Scan causes harm to the patient then the doctor may have committed medical malpractice.  A CT Scan, for example, subjects a patient to a good deal of radiation and can be difficult on certain organs such as the kidneys.

It is important to remember that many medical tests carry dangers of their own.  It is a doctor’s responsibility to weigh those risks against the risk of not performing the tests and to make an educated decision about what is best for a particular patient.