Gastroenterology expert witnesses may write reports and testify on conditions including gastrointestinal bleeding or inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Litigation may include allegations of colon perforation during a colonoscopy procedure or a missed cancer or lesion diagnosis. Not only do gastroenterology experts commonly testify on the standard of care arising from injuries due to intestinal procedures but also in developing conditions such as hepatitis, upper gastrointestinal bleeding, and cancer.
Cancer detection by gastroenterologists is critical. Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the US with the associated highest rate of cancer mortality. Even so, less than 50% of Americans aged 50 and up consent to colonoscopy screening. In 2008, the American College of Gastroenterology guidelines recommended that colonoscopy preparations be given in split doses. Not only is split-dosing effective, it is well received by patients. The question has arisen as to whether the standard of medical care now requires the use of split dosing.
Malpractice cases alleging negligent performance require gastroenterology expert witnesses with extensive knowledge in their field. These experts are called upon to testify on the standard of care in endoscopic and colorectal screening procedures as well as gastrointestinal diseases.