Medical Malpractice and Your Right to Perform at Your Peak
Living a healthy life is an essential goal for every person. This outlook can be summarized by the ancient proverb that says “Health is Wealth”. If you have a body that performs well, there is a greater chance that you will be achieving your goals in a better way. That is why we invest in our healthcare policies, gym membership, supplements and other fitness routine just to make it sure that our body can always perform at its peak. Healthcare professionals play important role in reaching and maintaining this goal. However, it is frustrating to know that the people you rely most on your health conditions are less reliable than you think.
There are many sorts of negligence that can happen when you step into the doors of clinics and hospitals either for a routine checkup or an emergency health need. They may come in many forms of unethical, irresponsible, erroneous, and fatal actions and decisions which can be generically and legally called as Medical malpractice.
Medical Malpractice can be defined as any decisions and actions which deviate and violate healthcare standards and medical ethics that put patients’ lives at risk (Medmalfacts.com, 2010).
Many people are not aware of the fact that there are almost 100,000 people dying due to irresponsible practice of healthcare professionals. This is according to an article published in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). It also says that over a half of these medical malpractices happen in emergency room. This is why medical malpractices are considered as the third leading cause of death in many states in America (Medmalfacts.com, 2010).
Legally speaking, there are important characteristics for a situation or experience to be considered as a medical malpractice. These characteristics will also determine if your case has merits in courts. Knowing these characteristics will help you to determine whether your rights have been violated:
- Deviation and Violation of Healthcare Standards – Healthcare and medicine are applied sciences which possess standardized and organized body of knowledge, practices, and rules generally accepted among individuals practicing under this profession. In legal terms, this is called as the standard of care. People can always legally demand TLC (Tender Love and Care) from health professionals under this principle.
- Negligence of Healthcare practitioners resulting to Patient’s Injury – Violating the standard of care cannot stand alone as a medical malpractice. There should be an injury which can be directly connected to such violation and negligence.
- Significance of Injury – The injury caused by a medical malpractice should be serious enough that a patient has suffered any disability, affected his ability to earn, burdening bills that the he has acquired and will be acquiring due to extended medication and other therapy. This will make a medical malpractice lawsuit more acceptable in courts.
There are many instances which can be considered as a medical malpractice. For example an error in diagnosis which resulted to the death of a patient is a medical malpractice. This is why it is always advisable to get a second opinion. Improper surgical methods resulting to disabilities like utilizing unsterilized equipments resulting to infection then amputation is an obvious malpractice. Proving a claim in this kind of case will require a lot of opinions from experts and a determined lawyer. This is why you have to be aware of these things. Be informed, live a healthy life, and always perform at your peak.
Abpla.org (n.d.) What is Malpractice?. [online] Available here. [Accessed: 10 Nov 2012].
Cnewhall.com (1990) Medical Malpractice Facts. [online] Available here. [Accessed: 10 Nov 2012].