By: Christine L Canterbury, MD (FACOG)
Corpus Christi Women’s Clinic
If you had a cold, and could see two people for advice – a doctor or a lawyer – which person would you want to treat you? You’d want the doctor. One might say that this is a common sense answer. But remarkably, people give credence to baseless claims from personal injury lawyers over the counsel of their physicians every day. They listen to personal injury lawyer advertisements when it comes to taking certain prescribed medications or using certain recommended healthcare products.
I’m a doctor, and this is something I’ve actually experienced with patients. I will discuss a patient’s symptoms, condition, and medical history, and I’ll make a recommendation based on my professional experience, and patients will push back because of something they’ve heard in personal injury lawyer advertisements. Yes, people will actually doubt the opinion of a medical professional because of what they heard from a personal injury lawyer ad. They’ll do something that potentially jeopardizes their health based on a television ad.
What is so shocking about this trend is that the creators of these ads are lawyers who have no medical training or basis to make these claims about drugs and healthcare products. They’re simply trying to create lawsuits in order to squeeze money out of our lawsuit system. These ads are not held to any research or advertising standards, which enables them to misinform the public – and scare people into lawsuits.
The bottom line is that these personal injury lawyers are not doctors, and they are motivated by profit not a patient’s health. Patients and their doctor should determine what treatments should be taken, not by personal injury lawyers. Medical consumers need to open their eyes when it comes to the dangerous misinformation that these ads are peddling, and leave the medical counseling to those who are trained to help – doctors and medical professionals.