Medical Malpractice/ Negligence


Medical Malpractice or Medical Negligence is a professional negligence committed either by the act or omission of a Medical Practitioner or a Doctor. In Medical Malpractice cases the treatment provided by the Medical practitioner falls below the accepted standard of practice in the medical community and thereby it causes injury or death to the patient. Standards and regulations for medical malpractice vary from country to country. The term ‘Medical Malpractice’ or ‘Medical Negligence’ is also used when a Medical Practitioner or a Doctor providing medical care fails to perform his/her duty to the fullest of their ability and knowledge. This includes providing shoddy medical care, not informing the patient of the risk involved in a procedure, not giving the patient or their family a substantial reason for the death or irreparable harm caused to a patient, prescribing wrong medication, diagnosing a condition incorrectly, disclosing patient information without his/her permission etc.

Examples of Medical Negligence /When does liability arise

Delayed Treatment

  • A physician does not properly detect the existence of a condition, and because of this, the person is not admitted to the hospital. The condition becomes worse but the hospital does not admit them. By the time they receive appropriate treatment it is too late to save them.

Delivery of Children

  • A woman experiences complications during delivery. She requires a C-section but the attending physician delays this step. The baby develops Cerebral Palsy as a direct result.
  • A baby with a metabolic disorder suffers some degree of brain damage after they are misdiagnosed and/or monitored during the delivery process.
  • The healthcare personnel fail to detect that a child was born with a blood problem-Rh incompatibility-antibodies (which destroy the blood in the baby).

Drug Reaction

  • A patient is given the wrong medication, despite the fact that the proper medication is on the chart. The patient suffers a serious drug reaction that causes permanent damage to the patient.

Heart Surgery

  • A patient undergoes a heart procedure that ultimately proves to be unnecessary. The surgery results in improper valve function, a blood clot, etc., which causes long-term health problems for the victim.

Hysterectomy

  • A patient undergoes a routine hysterectomy that goes awry and results in a severance of the ureters. This is not detected and it causes the loss of the patient’s kidney.
  • A woman’s hysterectomy results in severe bleeding. The result is additional surgeries and costly and time-consuming complications.
  • A surgical procedure is performed that results in an unnoticed infection. When it is finally discovered, the treatment is delayed and a further surgery is needed. The result is permanent damage or disability to the patient.

Lab Errors

  • The results of a laboratory test indicate a benign condition when, in fact, the results indicate something much more serious. By the time the mistake is discovered, there has been permanent damage done to an individual.

Misdiagnoses

  • The physician failed to properly diagnose a patient’s cancer. The patient therefore does not take the necessary steps to cure the cancer and eventually succumbs to the disease.
  • A patient has appendicitis that is not diagnosed by their physician. The appendix ruptures and kills the patient.

Transferred without Consent

  • A patient is transferred from one hospital to another without consent of the attending physician. While the transfer is occurring, they suffer a serious complication or brain damage.