Physicians Could Be At Fault for Suicide, According To Florida Law

Do You or Someone You Know Battle Depression or Anxiety?

Depression and anxiety are common symptoms that most everyone is familiar with, either personally or professionally. Physicians treat these disorders every day, and the result? Not always what they hope for.

There are several types of depression and the overall recommended treatment for the illness: See a doctor.

Depression is one of the most common forms of mental illness, affecting roughly one in every 10 Americans at any given time. In 2013, the Center for Disease Control reported that the suicide rate among middle-aged Americans climbed a startling 28 percent in just a decade. Some people with major depression may feel that life is not worth living and some will attempt to end their lives.

There are many causes of depression. As we all know, money is often a trigger for depression and anxiety. Due to the financial downfall we witnessed beginning in 2008, it makes sense to see a spike in the suicide rate. But, who is at fault when it comes to suicide?

Suicide Represents Medical Malpractice in Florida:

In August 2016, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that a physician may be sued for medical malpractice for a patient’s suicide. Both anxiety and depression are considered triggers for taking one’s own life and clinical depression is defined as a disease like any other; which means it may fall under the responsibility of the doctor that is treating the illness.

The recent Florida Supreme Court ruling stemmed from a Florida case in 2008, where a patient experienced common effects of depression: mental strain, loss of sleep, crying episodes, etc. To assist the patient, the physician prescribed her different antidepressants over the course of several years beginning in 2005. The Florida patient hung herself exactly one day after contacting the physician’s office seeking additional help in 2008. The physician left a sample of an antidepressant at his office for her to pick up, although it was too late.

The deceased’s husband sued the physician as well as the physician’s practice stating negligence for failing to recognize that the patient was depressed, and for failing to conduct an evaluation before prescribing an antidepressant.

The Florida Supreme Court ruled that a physician has a statutory obligation to treat a patient within the standard of care.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the State of Florida. According to the Florida Vital Statistics Annual Report, in 2014, 2,961 suicide deaths were reported in Florida; averaging about 8 suicides a day. This is the highest number of suicides reported in the past 19 years. The issue is in the hands of our physicians; and they can now be held accountable.

Help in the Case of Suicide:

Do you know someone who has fallen victim to suicide derived from depression? There may be compensation available. If you’ve fallen victim to someone taking their own life due to depression or anxiety, a malpractice attorney at David & Philpot, P.L. may be able to help. We’ve been helping victims of medical malpractice recover the money they need and deserve for over 20 years. Contact one of our malpractice lawyers today at 800.360.7015 for a free, no obligation consultation. You pay nothing until we win your case.