Breach of Duty & Medical Malpractice Law
Medical malpractice and medical negligence occur when a healthcare provider does not adequately do his or her job in a logical, ethical manner, or provides treatment that results in physical or mental damages and personal injuries to a patient.
Many times, there might be an issue of doubt regarding informed consent between a patient and a doctor. A doctor might not have told his or her patient about certain complications and/or risks of a particular treatment or procedure, not completely informed, or the patient might not even comprehend every aspect of the components involved with a specific procedure or treatment, a therapy the physician recommended.
Physician’s Medical Duty
One of the aspects that needs to be determined in medical negligence cases concerns the physician’s moral and medical duty to patients. That means that a healthcare provider, one who is medically taking care of an individual for any kind of ailment or therapy, regardless of the medical condition of the patient, is obligated to keep that individual from enduring more agony or additional harm.
That does not mean that if an individual’s health condition becomes worse, the physician has not done his or her duty of standard care. While there are obviously some scenarios in which a physician will be unable to treat or cure an injury there are still expectations and obligations for those that can be healed.
Standard of Care
While an individual chooses to pursue a lawsuit against a physician or additional healthcare expert, he or she has to be capable of proving the required legal components to pursue and win a case. These components consist of the following:
- Duties indebted to patients – Physicians owe an obligation to their patients when they have developed a doctor-patient bond. They have to do what is called a “standard of care” that other medical professionals in their identical field would have performed.
- Breach of Duty – When a physician does not do his or her duty at the necessary stage and delivers treatment lower than the standard of medical care, he or she could be found guilty of breaching his or her duty.
- Contiguous cause – When the main reason for a patient’s damages or injuries occurs because the doctor breached his or her duty, the client has a solid case. This term is also known as, in legal terms, as proximate cause.
- Victims and damages owed to them – Patients who suffer from injuries because of breach of duty, medical malpractice, might be able to seek damages when the healthcare provider who broke his or her duty of standard care caused the harm. A victim can recover both monetary and non-monetary damages and in a few situations might be capable of suing for other damages, such as punitive damages, when the physician’s actions seemed to be naturally conscious.
Proving Breach of Duty
Breaching duty means that a doctor failed to react or act accordingly to a patient’s illness or injury, or that an act he or she took was indeed negligent, and the outcome resulted in additional harm to the patient.
There are laws and rules situated for specific kinds of treatment and there are guidelines regarding what each doctor is supposed to do regarding some ailments, diseases and injuries. Even then, it is tough to prove medical malpractice, as these cases are very complex.
The following are a few of the types of legal claims previous clients have filed regarding medical negligence and breach of duty:
- Giving prescriptions for the incorrect medicines
- Administering incorrect drugs
- Not analyzing or diagnosing a health condition accurately
- Writing a prescription for the incorrect dose of medicine
- Not diagnosing a health condition
- Making a serious mistake during surgery (for instance, performing surgery on the wrong side of a patient’s back or carelessly leaving surgical tools/instruments inside a patient’s body)
The majority of physicians will declare that medical science consists of a degree of presumption, although we all hold such experts to an additionally elevated standard than other individuals since they are in charge of people’s lives and handling life and death choices. Physicians owe a certain obligation, duty of standard of care, to every patient to do no damage and achieve the standards build amid their colleague group.
In other words, doctors are expected to live up to the standards they’ve pledged. For instance, a patient does not expect a dentist or a chiropractor to adequately analyze and diagnose a serious health condition. Therefore, in several medical malpractice situations, the law necessitates testimonies of professional witnesses in similar fields to reveal how the breach of duty happened.