What is medical negligence? Everyone who taught of getting treatment from a doctor has been wondering what this exactly means. Some people may think that it’s similar to medical malpractice, but that is not exactly the case. What separates negligence from malpractice, and what are the rights of people when they encounter these medical situations? This article will try to delve on this issue and more.
When trying to understand what medical negligence and malpractice means, it’s important first to get used with the terms. First of all, what does negligence exactly mean? There are many ways to define negligence, but we’ll take what’s being used by legal practitioners. In legal terms, neglect is used to tell that a certain incident/accident is the person’s fault due to his/her failure to recognize particular laws. It also pertains to unfortunate events that happened thanks to a person’s lack of responsibility. As such, they are held accountable for whatever damages that occurred due to the accident.
Related to this, medical negligence is defined as any untoward incident caused by the failure of medical personnel to be extra careful and attentive with what they are doing. Or when using medical terms, it’s the failure of doctors and other medical staff to provide quality of treatment that’s in line with the “medical standard of care”. It’s the responsibility of medical professionals to provide medical care that’s both competent and reasonable. When proven that the ones who administered medical care didn’t adhere to said standards, they’re automatically accountable to medical negligence.
What is medical negligence, and how is it different from medical malpractice? To better understand this, it’s time to take a look at the true meaning of medical malpractice. Negligence and malpractice are similar in the sense that these mistakes are committed either because the guilty party either failed to respect what’s needed for a particular situation or he/she completely ignored the rules and standards associated with the task at hand. But negligence turns to malpractice when this act of negligence results to undue troubles for others, in this case, the patient.
To better understand what malpractice means, take this example. It’s a form of medical negligence to leave a piece of medical equipment (like forceps) inside the person’s body. It becomes malpractice when the person suffers from a major infection due to the presence of the said equipment inside his/her body. It can also be considered negligence if the presence of the forceps would require the person to avail of more medical treatments (like surgical removal of the item). Simply put, medical negligence cannot be considered medical malpractice if the patient is not adversely affected by such negligence.
What is medical negligence, and what are the rights of people victimized by these acts? There are all kinds of laws related to this phenomenon, designed to protect the rights of patients that entrust their lives to doctors and other medical staff. Depending on the degree of the offense, the patient is entitled to compensation via damages and the medical team involved can potentially lose their right to do their job.