Medical malpractice happens when a medical provider fails to observe the guidelines of specialized care, resulting in a patient’s injury or death. This can mean the health care professional either failed to properly diagnose the patient or made a mistake during treatment. Adverse medical events can be traced back to sub-standard patient care, forms of medical negligence, or patient abandonment. These cases only become medical malpractice when the mistakes cause actual damage.
While medical negligence and malpractice are similar, they are not the same. Medical malpractice is an active disregard for the necessary steps to providing accurate and ethical health assistance. Medical negligence is a breach of duty or a failure to comply with certain standards. Negligence is often associated with inattention on the health care provider’s part and can result from poor doctor-patient communication.
Failure to properly diagnose a patient is a dangerous mistake that can cause the patient additional pain and expenses. If a patient is
Perhaps the most critical step for a doctor to begin medical treatment is obtaining informed consent from the patient. The physician must discuss the patient’s diagnosis, various treatment options, and risks involved with either accepting or refusing treatments.
In 1999, the Institute of Medicine published a report titled “To Err Is Human.” This report focused on American hospitals and the number of preventable medical errors per year. Since the report was published, the number of inaccurate diagnoses, adverse drug effects, surgical mistakes, and unnecessary infections has grown. The increase can partially be attributed to the surge of American citizens seeking medical assistance, combined with the lack of sleep experienced by many hospital professionals.
Amitabh Chandra, et al. “Malpractice Risk According To Physician Specialty.” The New England Journal Of Medicine 365.7 (2011): 629-636. MEDLINE with Full Text. Web. 15 May 2012.
Bryan, Patrick B., and Jeffrey O’Connell. “More hippocrates, less hypocrisy: ‘early offers’ as a means of implementing the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations on malpractice law.” Journal of Law and Health Spring 2000: 23+. Academic OneFile. Web. 18 May 2012.
Kalb, Claudia. “Do No Harm.” Newsweek 4 Oct. 2010: 48. Academic OneFile. Web. 15 May 2012.
Latner, Ann W. “A clinician breaks the cardinal rule: a serious accident during a patient’s discharge leads to potentially life – threatening injuries and a lawsuit.” Clinical Advisor Mar. 2012: 72+. Academic OneFile. Web. 15 May 2012.
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