Medical Malpractice: Unethical Medical Treatment
Medical Malpractice is a serious issue in today’s world. The effects of it are wide reaching, harming many patients who have entered the hospital in search of compassionate medical care. Every year countless numbers of individuals enter the hospital for any number of reasons. The treatment they seek may require long term stay in the hospital or they may be in and out in a matter of hours.
In 2007 alone, the emergency department of the hospital had 116.8 million visits. This does not include the many that did not enter through the doors of the emergency room, meaning the actual number of hospital visits would be significantly higher. While a vast amount of healthcare workers have entered the profession seeking to provide quality care to those in physical need, there are some that have failed to meet the standards and due to various circumstances have not only left patients with lower level treatment, but have actually harmed their patients as a result of their poor conduct. Medical malpractice occurs when the healthcare staff either acts negligently or in omission, resulting in some sort of physical detriment to their patient. Extensive training is given to those individuals who are given the privilege of treating patients to ensure that the way they handle those visiting their practice or hospital meets up to a specified level. Unfortunately there are many cases in which physical injuries and infections are sustained as a result of the failure to adhere to healthcare standards. In some instances the result of medical malpractice can even lead to a wrongful death.
Medical malpractice can occur in a number of ways. Often the simple negligence of a healthcare worker is to blame. With that fast pace of a hospital facility, many staff members may overlook an action during their daily routine not due to a lack of care for their patients, but as a simple mistake. Errors can include failing to properly diagnose or treat the illness a person is suffering with. When a doctor fails to make the correct diagnoses and therefore the treatment of the patient is not what it should be to properly heal them, their level of health may actually depreciate rather than being corrected. When this occurs, legal action can be taken against the healthcare worker or facility that was responsible for the improper medical treatment. Because of the seriousness that comes along with inaccurate treatment, it is extremely necessary that the highest standard of treatment is always being pushed forward. A doctor or nurse that fails to adhere to sterile precautions either with a particular patient or when moving between different patients, can spread infectious diseases. This gives those individuals who have already entered the hospital with some sort of illness, further concerns with their health and depending on the severity of the infection it can lead to further injuries. It can also impede them from healing as quickly as possible. For a patient that has had a hip replacement, precaution needs to be taken in how they are moved. If a staff member is too rough they may cause complications that hinder the healing process of their patients and can even lead them to need further surgeries. One of the most devastating ways in which medical malpractice can end, is when the effects of insufficient treatment leads to the death of a patient. Estimations range from 44,000 to 98,000 as to the amount of patients who die every year from medical errors that could have been prevented.
With the high number of patients entering the hospital, healthcare workers have a great responsibility on their hands. When they are short staffed taking on high amounts of patients, it can be extremely difficult to accurately care for each patient in the way they should. High stress and a fast work pace can make it easy to make simple mistakes such as failing to follow the correct precautions. In 2000, over 86,000 medical malpractice claims were filed. Attempts by government and healthcare staff are always being implemented to prevent against medical errors, however, they still can occur quite frequently. The importance of each action of healthcare staff is demonstrated in the significant effects an error can cause, making it crucial that they are held accountable to ensure they continue striving to meet high standards of compassionate and quality care. In order to have a case of medical malpractice, the plaintiff must be able to demonstrate that the healthcare provided to them was below the level it should have been and as an outcome, led to an injury.
Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.