The medical world is not something that everyone can dive into and understand. People all around the world would agree that we aren’t fully aware of what’s happening inside our bodies, and we need the help of healthcare professionals when something goes wrong with our health. But whether it is a common fever or complicated diseases such as cancer, there are unfortunate cases of medical malpractice happening worldwide. There is a certain degree of professionalism, care, and expertise that every healthcare professional is expected to display with their patients. This expectation is called a duty of care. To further widen your knowledge about medical malpractice, we wrote this essential guide for you.
Medical Malpractice: What Is It?
According to seattlemalpracticelawyers.com, a person, or a family member, may be able to file a medical malpractice claim when a healthcare professional such as a nurse, midwife, or doctor fails to uphold their duty of care and whose actions are deemed negligent resulting in injuries. Common medical malpractice includes the following scenarios:
- Providing a misdiagnosis (the wrong diagnosis was given to the patient)
- Failure to diagnosis
- Non-consent or improper consent to receive treatment
- Failure to provide the appropriate treatment to the patient
- Unauthorized disclosure of patient’s confidential information
Let us delve deeper into these scenarios and assess how each is deemed medical malpractice.
Some diseases are harder to diagnose than others. From a statistical point of view, the margin of error for misdiagnosis is only 5% worldwide. This is the main reason why it is crucial to have a second healthcare professional available to assess your condition. For example, one commonly misdiagnosed ailment is heart attacks. Often diagnosed as indigestion and anxiety, people are sent home without proper treatment.
The Value of Informed Consent
The medical professional correctly diagnosed your ailment as stage 1 breast cancer. However, he did not inform you of your treatment options, risks, and benefits of the available treatment options and the risks and benefits of not receiving any. This medical malpractice puts the patient at risk of deteriorating health because they don’t know their treatment options.
In a situation where the diagnosis is correct, and the medical practitioner has informed you of the treatment options, you might think that everything must be going well for the patient. But, there are cases when the wrong treatment is given to the patient. Improper treatment does not resolve the person’s health issue, allowing it to progress further and cause more harm.
Secrecy, privacy, and confidentiality
Some medical situations are more sensitive than others. For example, a patient that was diagnosed as HIV Positive would want to keep that medical information confidential. If the medical practitioner or the facility fails to keep medical records safe and they get into the wrong hands, they could be sued for medical malpractice.
Just like the body’s anatomy, medical malpractice is a complex subject to understand. If you have a family member that is suffering because of medical malpractice they could use the help of a medical malpractice lawyer. Consulting with a malpractice lawyer about your situation is the best way to proceed with filing a claim or lawsuit to recover compensation.