Medical malpractice is defined as professional negligence by act or omission by a health care provider in which the treatment provided falls below the accepted standard of practice in the medical community and causes the victim injury, trauma, or wrongful death. This can include ignoring procedures, not acting in a timely manner, etc.
It’s important to remember though, that a bad outcome to a medical procedure is not automatically “medical malpractice.” The treatment provided must fall below the accepted standard of practice in the medical community in order to constitute a medical malpractice claim. I hear a lot of people complain about medical malpractice lawsuits simply because they do not understand this concept. People often say “why sue the doctor who was only trying to help you?” If the doctor’s treatment did not fall below the accepted industry standard, he or she did not commit medical malpractice in the eyes of the law.
Here are a few instances that may be considered medical malpractice:
- Not monitoring a patient’s vital signs in a proactive way, leading to the death of the patient.
- Leaving foreign objects inside a patient’s body, causing the victim discomfort and long-term health problems.
- Not treating a health condition in a timely manner.
- Failure to diagnose, or misdiagnosis of an illness, disease, or any other medical condition.
- Birth injuries (such as cerebral palsy) caused by leaving the baby in the birth canal for too long during delivery.
- Performing wrong site surgery (when a doctor or surgeon performs an operation on the wrong part of your body – or on the wrong patient altogether).
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