Legal Experts Argue The Case For Medical Malpractice and The Duty of Care

Malpractice is always tied to the concept of negligence. In the medical profession, this is largely interpreted as a violation of the patient’s trust.
The doctor-patient relationship is predicated on the establishment of trust.

Here, the patient trusts his doctor to do him no harm and to make sure that his doctor will only perform procedures that are beneficial to his patient. Unfortunately, when this trust is broken medical malpractice ensues.

What is Medical Malpractice?

When a medical doctor or any other treatment provider cause harm to any patient through negligence, that doctor or medical professional is guilty of medical malpractice. Malpractice is always tied to the concept of negligence. In the medical profession, this is largely interpreted as a violation of the patient’s trust.

Duty of Care

Doctors have the solemn duty to care for their patients. This often translates to adherence to global standards of care that have been institutionalized and mandated by international healthcare organizations. This simply means that everyone in the healthcare team must observe the different standards in order to ensure optimum level of safe and quality care. If these standards are not met, negligence can ensue leading to less-than-favorable patient outcomes. In some cases, the patient may sustain further injuries or, in worse cases, may lead to his demise.

It is during these breaches of the standards of care or negligence in the duty of care that doctors and treatment providers can be charged with medical malpractice.

Elements of a Medical Malpractice Suit

Victims of medical malpractice need to understand that it is important to satisfy five fundamental elements necessary to qualify negligence as medical malpractice. There must be a legal duty that was breached and that this led to an injury. Additionally, the breach can be proven as a deviation from the accepted standards of care and the injury or the damage must be proven to be the direct result of the deviation from standards.

For example, it is the duty of the surgeon to perform the inherent time-out checks in any surgical procedure. If this was not observed or was observed but was done in a haphazard way and resulted in the premature closure of a surgical incision leaving a needle inside the body cavity leading to excoriating post-operative pain and bleeding, then the surgeon may be guilty of medical malpractice. The breach occurred in the form of not double-checking the instruments used in the surgical procedure, which leads to the damage of internal bleeding and pain. Of course, this rarely happens. But just to illustrate the point.

If you are a patient, it is imperative that you trust your doctor. Doctors, in turn, should also take care of this trust. Otherwise, if the trust is broken, not only are you looking at legal consequences ahead, it will also be quite traumatic putting your trust on doctors again.

Distributed by Beutel Hurst Boleky LLC

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