Medical Malpractice Law
June 22, 2018
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Medical malpractice liability is normally based on the laws of negligence.
Although the laws of medical malpractice differ significantly between nations, as a broad general rule liability follows when a health care practitioner does not show a fair, reasonable and competent degree of skill when providing medical care to a patient. If a practitioner holds himself out as a specialist a higher degree of skill is required. Jurisdictions have also been increasingly receptive to claims based on informed consent, raised by patients who allege that they were not adequately informed of the risks of medical procedures before agreeing to treatment.
As laws vary by jurisdiction, the specific professionals who may be targeted by a medical malpractice action will vary depending upon where the action is filed. Among professionals that may be potentially liable under medical malpractice laws are,
- Medical Practitioners – including physicians, surgeons, psychiatrists, and dentists.
- Nurses, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.
- Allied health professionals – including physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors, podiatrists, occupational therapists, social workers, psychologists, pharmacists, optometrists, midwives, and medical radiation practitioners.
Among the acts or omissions that may potentially support a medical malpractice claim are the failure to properly diagnose a disease or medical condition, the failure to provide appropriate treatment for a medical condition, and unreasonable delay in treating a diagnosed medical condition. In some jurisdictions, a medical malpractice action may be allowed even without a mistake from the doctor, based upon principles of informed consent, where a patient was not informed of possible consequences of a course of treatment and would have declined the medical treatment had proper information been provided in advance.
Adv Dr Arun D Mishra
Medico Legal Consultant
Adv. High Court & Supreme Court
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October 20, 2018