Would Genetic Testing, Like Angelina Jolie’s, Cut down on Medical Malpractice?

We are certain that many of our readers caught Angelina Jolie’s editorial piece in the New York Times a few weeks back. The article was one of the Times’ most read pieces, causing a splash in gossip magazines and in online tabloids.

Within the article, Angelina Jolie revealed that she had a preventative double mastectomy done after she learned that she carried a gene putting her at risk for both breast and ovarian cancer. In having the operation, the Academy Award Winner greatly reduced her risk of developing breast cancer. (If you didn’t read the article, find it here.)

As expected, Jolie’s piece was extremely contreversial. It prompted numerous reactions, ranging from praise to others worried that her path would set a precedent encouraging individuals to make medical decisions without the counsel of a doctor.

Doctors are pointing out a crucial part of Jolie’s story, where she admits that the gene was discovered after undergoing rigorous genetic testing. If these tests were more widely avalaible to larger portions of the population, there could plausibly be a decrease in the failure to diagnose breast cancer. These failures constitute medical malpractice.

The problem with making these tests readily avaliable is that the testing runs at around $2,000 a pop. Not only is that a huge expense, but most insurance companies will not pay for it. Similarly, the general public is typically a bit hesitant to undergo genetic testing as it still a rather new concept.

If genetic testing helped doctors to make sound diagnoses and reduce the frequency with which they misdiagnosed illnesses, then it seems to be a good concept worthy of more study. We are hopeful that more decisions, such as the one made by Angelina Jolie, will be based on accurate medical data and reliable test results provided by the health care community in the near future. If you or a loved one has misdiagnosed for anytype of medical illness, you may be entitled to compensation for the mental anguish, harms, and damages that accompanied that diagnosis. For more information and to discuss your potential for free at no obligation, call us today at 314.409.7060. We look forward to being of service to you.

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