Careless practices by a medical practitioner may result in harm. This constitutes medical negligence making the caregiver subject to liability for harming the patient. The doctor-patient relationship is defined by a set of rules to protect the patient’s interests and promote professional standards. Sometimes this trust is broken needlessly.
Probable causes of medical negligence
- Oversight from wrong assumptions.
- Staff incompetence.
Legal action is necessary but at times it presents a dilemma for the involved parties. The flow of responsibilities is exchangeable and it also differs in various contexts. Treatment may involve many staff at a go. This makes it difficult to pin down the legal responsibility.
Physicians usually undertake any action they believe will prevent any compromise on the patients well being. The patient may not be well versed on the procedures and the medical capability as well as other intricacies. This gap may lead to wrongful medical negligence suits.
Elements that account for medical negligence
Duty of care owed.
There is a vocational obligation to the treat and care for the patient so as to bring them to the former wellness. The law undertakes to determine whether the choice to conduct their job in a professional manner was proper or improper. This is usually determined in context.
Breach of the standard of care.
This involves the very action that resulted in actual harm. It is measured against the medical care practice standards and procedures. The action must have been unreasonable in regard to what is expected so as to constitute medical negligence.
Cause in fact.
This is to establish whether there is a direct cause and effect relationship that resulted in the incident. There should be a real connection between the practitioner’s role and the patient’s condition.
Legal cause must be ascertained as to whether the care giver’s acts were the root of the medical negligence. Practicality and fairness are factored in to contribute to the whole outcome. The patient risk level must have been easily foreseeable by a professional.
This is the final outcome where the hospital/ physician are required to compensate the patient for harm wrongfully inflicted. The extent of the damages may spread to secondary losses such as lost enjoyment of previous activities.
The requested amount is usually a hotly contested part in the litigation process.
Time limit for medical negligence suits
- Medical negligence claims should be made within 3 years of knowing that harm occurred in some way.
- Children can make their claim at any instance up to when they reach18years.
A practitioner is exempted if they decide to pursue a specific course of treatment from a whole set of alternatives but it results in harm.
Damage awards for medical negligence run to the tune of millions of dollars each year. There is need to safeguard the practitioner’s interests from opportunistic claims. On the other hand there needs to be proper set of rules that streamline the health care standards and consequently save lives.
Tailored medical care law reforms are the best tool to curb medical negligence.