May 2, 2021
Dealing with a diagnosis is never easy, but what happens if it is because of a medical mistake? Medical malpractice is a branch of civil law that handles negligent acts committed by medical providers and facilities. Who is subject to a medical malpractice lawsuit? Discover the answer to that and more.
Doctors are responsible for all aspects of a patient’s care. They must follow the proper protocols when examining, diagnosing and treating. While there are always advancements in medicine that doctors are free to use, some things are not recognized as reasonable for patient care. Since so much expectation and responsibility falls to doctors, it is not a surprise that they are the primary people who commit malpractice. When a doctor’s actions rise to negligence, it means they have gone against the duty of care in dealing with their patient. It means they have failed to act when they should or acted in a manner that is not accepted by others in the same profession. A doctor may commit malpractice at any point in the care of a patient.
Nurses are charged with following the doctor’s orders in caring for patients. They are the second-in-command when it comes to patient administration. As such, nurses must abide by many of the same principles as physicians. A nurse may be found guilty of medical malpractice for a variety of reasons. In a hospital setting, it may be due to a disregard for a doctor’s orders. In a clinic or private practice, it may be for calling in a prescription for medication that the patient is allergic to. Nurses in elder care are brought under scrutiny for not carefully tending to patients’ skin and allowing bedsores to develop.
Hospitals and Clinics
Doctors and nurses often work for hospitals or clinics. Therefore, when a provider is charged with medical malpractice, a similar charge against the place they worked often follows. In some instances, a hospital may know that a physician is not caring for patients properly and chooses to ignore it. There may be a lax way of handling directives, such as those for charting. Hospitals can get in trouble if they allow nurses to work too many hours without rest. By not giving the proper breaks and days off, the hospital may be contributing to the negligent behavior.
Regardless of the cause, medical negligence often leaves a patient in worse condition and may contribute to an early death.