When people think about the word “malpractice” they may immediately think of legal malpractice, insurance fraud, or maybe even an accountant-gone-rogue who decides to breach his duty to embezzle millions from his employer. It is often not the first thought that a professional’s decision to cut corners and not follow rules can have very personal side effects, but this is exactly what happens when a physician commits malpractice.
Medical Malpractice: What is it?
Sick patients trust that they are in the best hands possible, especially if they are facing major surgery. The situation that these patients often find themselves in is one that involves a proverbial rock and hard place; specifically, a doctor fitting them in on a busy schedule, and not having the recommended surgery. When the latter option is not available, as in cases involving terminal situations, some patients are left with no choice but trust. It is the breach of this trust that is considered medical malpractice, and can carry with it serious consequences.
Slip of the Knife or Callous Act?
Every medical procedure carries with it some element of risk as evidenced by the multitude of forms that patients must complete before undergoing surgery. However, what many people may not realize is that a doctor’s responsibility to provide a high level of professional care is not something that can be signed away in a rush of pre-surgery paperwork. The question that will need to be asked is whether the injury suffered by a patient was within the normal dangers faced by the particular surgery, or whether a physician utilizing reasonable care could have avoided the damage suffered?
Doctors are professionals and like with any other profession they owe a duty to perform up to the standards of their chosen position. While true that doctors are human, and also that all humans can make mistakes, if a doctor breaches his or her duty to a patient it generally means that they have done something so egregious that it cannot be considered a mere mistake. Examples include objects left in patients after an invasive procedure, the use of unclean equipment during surgery, and medication dosage errors. Any of these can and do occur in surgeries across the country, especially when a doctor is over-worked and cutting corners in order to fit more and more patients into one day. Further, these types of negligence cases are fairly straightforward, and being able to show that a doctor did not meet the proper standard of care in more complicated cases can take weeks, months or even years depending on the situation. During this time an injured patient and their family are often left adjusting to life post-injury, including rising costs of medical care and changed routines, while hospital staff and doctors continue with business as usual.
Medical negligence and malpractice can cause serious injury to patients and cause long-lasting debilitating effects or even death. If you or a loved one has been injured by the careless actions of a busy doctor, you do not have to face the healthcare industry alone. Call the professionals at the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C and we can answer your questions about the pathway to recovery.