Man dies from physical activity, doctor held partly responsible

There have probably been plenty of times when you have forgotten to tell someone something you were supposed to tell them. Although this might not have caused any major problems, forgetting to tell someone something probably caused some sort of disruption in plans or tasks.

Communication is important. It helps families to organize their busy schedules. It helps professionals to run their businesses smoothly. And it certainly helps doctors to do their jobs without making serious errors that could harm patients or cause the wrongful death of a patient. Unfortunately, doctors sometimes forget to tell their patients important information about their health conditions.

In 2009, a 31-year-old man died while having sexual intercourse. Prior to his death, he had visited his doctor because he had been experiencing chest pain. He was never informed during this visit with his doctor that physical activity, including sex, could aggravate his health.

According to the Huffington Post, the Georgia man visited his doctor in 2009 because he was experiencing chest pain that continued to worsen. A cardiologist concluded that the man’s symptoms were concerning and scheduled a nuclear stress test to be performed several days after the man’s appointment. The man’s symptoms indicated that he had clogged heart arteries.

But before sending the patient home, the doctor should have warned the man that any strenuous activity could aggravate his potentially serious health condition. Instead, the doctor forgot to tell the patient to keep his physical activities limited until the stress test could be performed.

The day before the man’s stress test was scheduled, he participated in a threesome. During sexual intercourse with two other people, he died.

The man’s family later filed a lawsuit against the cardiologist, claiming that the man’s death could have been prevented had the doctor properly warned the patient about what types of activities to avoid in order control his health until doctors could determine what had been causing his chest pain.

Although a jury found the patient partly at fault for his own death, the jury recently decided that the doctor was 60 percent at fault for the patient’s death. The man’s wife and two children were awarded $3 million for their loss.

Source: Reuters, “Man dies during threesome, family wins $3M for medical malpractice,” Andrew Chow, JD, June 1, 2012

Doctor Errors


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