Medical Malpractice

What is it?

To put it simply, medical malpractice is created by either negligence within the healthcare system or provider(s) or failure to receive a patient’s informed consent (which can also sometimes fall under an assault charge).

Health care providers (doctors, nurses, PSW’s etc) are required by law to provide patients with proper medical care at all times, failure to comply to this standard can result in court.

Negligence

Types of Negligence within the Medical Malpractice Field:

  • Health care providers who fail to give you the standard of care you deserve which results in personal injury
  • Health care provider made your illness or injury much worse when the reasonable doctor would have been able to treat you accordingly from the beginning
  • Hospital fails to provide its duty of reasonable care in avoidance to harming its patients

What will you receive?

If you are able to prove that you were exposed to negligence (which helped to induce your injury/illness into an injury) then the court system is able to compensate you for a number of things including “pain and suffering”, medical bills and other cost related expenses and the loss of pleasure in your life.

What Happens if your Doctor Delegates some of the Work to Someone Else?

Your doctor is still legally responsible for the work. If for example, one doctor leaves you in the care of another doctor – both then become responsible. However, if a doctor leaves accurate instructions for a nurse who fails to follow them correctly, the nurse, not your doctor would normally be held responsible for the outcome of negligence.

Things to Remember!

  • When you’re a patient, you are reasonable for your own care too. That includes: being honest about your condition and letting your doctor know the important information (it also includes being truthful about your medical history).
  • If your physician gives you instructions to follow – follow them! That is your responsibility, nobody else’s.

Question:

A patient has a surgery; doctor and medical staff follow procedures correctly and give the patient a fairly strict diet to follow in order to heal properly. Patient fails to follow those strict diet requirements, which results with the patient becoming extremely ill. Is this negligence from the health care providers or the hospital?

The answer is no. You are also responsible for your health. If your doctor or health care provider explained and outlined that you were suppose to following a strict diet in order to get better, then the blame is only on your for failing to comply with the rules that were set out and explained to you.

Failure to get Patient’s Informed Consent – What does this really mean?

It means that your physician has a legal obligation to inform you of your condition, the treatments available and the common risks of each treatment. You must be aware of the treatment you are going to be given; you are unable to consent unless you have all the information needed in order to understand the process. Medical malpractice here, is found generally when doctors fail to disclose common side effects and you end up having multiple problems that you were unaware could happen in the first place.

 

 

This article was based off of: http://www.cba.org/bc/public_media/health/420.aspx

 

Lauren Wianecki is a Paralegal student at Centennial College in Toronto studying professional communications with Omar Ha-Redeye.

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