New York residents may be interested in the case of a woman who was initially diagnosed as brain dead and refused treatment by doctors as a result. Later, two neurologists hired by the woman's father to give a second opinion diagnosed her as not brain dead based on the fact that she moved some extremities when she was pinched.

The woman had fallen into a coma in 2007 when she had a seizure related to her anorexia. She had developed an infection on her hip that required surgery, but doctors in California said that it would be unethical to perform surgery on a brain dead patient. Her father hired an attorney and was able to get a temporary ban on the hospital's refusal to treat her while the independent physicians were brought in to examine her.

According to the man's attorney, it is not unusual for medical staff to wrongly diagnose a patient as brain dead. He claims that doctors are making a judgment based on use of resources.

There is a difference between being brain dead and being comatose. A comatose patient may breathe or respond to things while a brain dead patient cannot perform involuntary bodily functions such as breathing.

A misdiagnosis may happen for any number of reasons including doctor negligence. It may lead to necessary treatments being withheld as in this case. These types of errors can be devastating to a person's prognosis and can even be fatal. Those who have been harmed in such a manner might want to speak to an attorney about their options.


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