The story of a Supreme Court or other higher courts delivering a ruling that orders the doctors or the hospitals to compensate the victims of medical negligence with huge sums of money is no longer new to most of the society. The insurance companies, in particular, are keen on setting their premiums since they bear the brand of such rulings in most of the cases.
What is Medical Negligence?
The term medical negligence may also refer to medical malpractice and is a common term as used in the medical profession. In its actual definition and for the purposes of litigation, however, this term is much more complex than it may look. A patient who initiates legal proceedings against a particular doctor just because there was no improvement after the prescription, for instance, may not be successful in proving negligence on the part of the doctor.
The emphasis of any particular claim for medical malpractice emphasizes on the standards of care provided and the performance of that particular medical professional rather than the results of the care that was provided. The task of the victim’s lawyer, therefore, is to prove that the care provided was below the standards as expected from a trained professional. Most of the jurisdictions have come up with standards upon which reference are made. Negligence suit will not be successful in case the practitioner was able to meet the standards required. It is, therefore, failing to abide by standards provided in the course of duty.
It does not stop there, other than the proof of substandard care; the patient has to prove that it was the poor work of the medical profession that actually caused the wrong results. There must be a harm suffered by the patient as a result of the medical practitioner’s action and an expert is normally called to verify the patient’s claims.
What are some of the Common Medical Negligence and their Causes?
The major cause of medical negligence worldwide is poor communication between the medical practitioners and their patients. This may result in a wrong prescription and procedures which may lead to death in extreme cases. Other than this, the issue of inadequate training to deal with a particular illness or poorly equipped laboratories may lead to misdiagnosis. There are a few cases of doctors working under influence of alcohol or other drugs that hinder proper judgment.
Some of the most common clinical negligence cases include mistakes during surgery, proceeding with a procedure without the consent from the patient, wrong diagnosis and even administering wrong drugs to the patient. Not doing what ought to have been done will also fall in this category, for instance, failing to administer drug on time or even not warning the patient or the family about the risks a particular procedure carries.
Getting Justice for Medical Negligence
It is essential that the victim for medical negligence speak up not just for his/her good but for the good of the society. This is the sure way of getting the situation improved and preventing things from getting worse or even happening to another person. Most hospitals have departments that deal with the complaints from the patients and it is always advisable to seek help from there in case the doctor is not being responsible.
The patients should also seek help from their attorneys particularly if they estimate the issue to be grave enough to warrant attorney’s presence. Other steps to be taken include reporting the matter to the relevant authorities and filling for medical negligence proceedings if the matter warrants such an action. The patient can choose to file a complaint or a criminal lawsuit or both against the doctor, the hospital or both and seek for compensation.
Doctors are never perfect in their work and as the consumers of their services; the patients have every right to get the best of the treatment standards. The patients should, therefore, take measures to prevent medical negligence for their own good and for good of the rest of the society. Doctors should take maximum care to avoid mistakes as their mistakes are likely to cost the life.