What Is Medical Malpractice?

In the wake of a surgical procedure of any kind, the last thing most people want is a heated courtroom confrontation. Unfortunately, everyone makes mistakes – doctors and surgeons being no exceptions to the rule.

Astonishingly, a recent Johns Hopkins study determined that medical mistakes and malpractice are the third most common cause of premature death in North America. But even when tragic and fatal mistakes do not occur, medical malpractice can still have a detrimental effect on the lives of those concerned.

If you believe you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice or would simply like to discuss the subject in more detail, contact a member of the team at Aristone Solicitors anytime.

What Defines Medical Malpractice?

The term ‘medical malpractice’ refers to any instance where a patient is harmed or injured as a direct or indirect result of a healthcare professional or institution’s negligence. Due to the capacity for complications to occur during even the simplest procedures, it can be extremely difficult to validate and prove a case of medical malpractice.

This is why expert legal support should be sought at the earliest possible stage, should there be any suspicion of medical malpractice having occurred.

What Qualifies as Medical Malpractice?

Healthcare providers have an obligation to safeguard the health and wellbeing of every patient they work with. Errors and oversights occur on a routine basis, though the majority of medical malpractice cases fall within one of the following categories:

Improper Treatment

Medical treatment is considered ‘improper’ when it breaches common standards or guidelines. If a doctor unsuccessfully attempts to treat a condition in a nonstandard way, it may qualify as malpractice.

Failure to Diagnose or Misdiagnosis

Medical malpractice lawsuits often concern patients who have either been wrongly diagnosed or have conditions/diseases that were not diagnosed at all, despite having presented with identifiable signs and symptoms.

Medication & Prescription Errors

It is highly unlikely that you will ever be prescribed inappropriate medication by a licensed healthcare professional. Nevertheless, it does happen on occasion and can have grave consequences for those affected.

Failure to Warn About Risks

Prior to undergoing a surgical procedure or being prescribed a course of treatment, it is the responsibility of the healthcare provider to communicate all possible risks or side-effects. If they fail to do so, this constitutes medical malpractice.

Failure to Provide Test Results

You have a legal right to know the results to your tests the moment they are received by your doctor. There’s no specific reason why a physician should withhold this kind of information, though it does occur from time to time.

Wrongful Death

Perhaps the most serious form of medical malpractice is any combination of errors or omissions that result in the wrongful and unnecessary death of a patient. If you suspect that a loved one may have died as a result of medical malpractice, it is essential that you consult with a qualified legal adviser as quickly as possible.

Ask the Experts…

Medical malpractice can be a particularly sensitive subject to address, though in all cases must be reported and acted on. By bringing your case before the courts, you play an important role in ensuring the same scenario doesn’t occur again in the future.

For more information or to discuss any aspect of medical malpractice in more detail, contact a member of the team at Aristone Solicitors anytime.

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