How to Handle Claims of Practicing Medicine Without a License


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It is unlawful for any person to practice medicine without an active license. This means that if the person has been discovered doing so, he or she may be penalized through fines, possible jail time or other punishments, and this also means that he or she must understand how to deal with the claim when conviction of this crime is possible.

Someone that has experience or knowledge of medicine is not authorized to give medical advice or treatment to others without having an active professional license to do so, or he or she could face penalties or punishment. These regulations are in place so that untrained and uneducated individuals are not treating others with unproven or possible lethal methods. When someone has been performing healthcare procedures illegally, he or she could end up killing the patient. All states have criminal offense charges for those discovered practicing these unauthorized acts. This means the untrained person could be charged and find himself or herself in a courtroom facing a claim.

Many states have a clear definition of what practicing medicine is within the location. This may mean someone trying to diagnose, cure or treat someone with an illness, injury or other symptoms. He or she is not permitted to prescribe drugs, complete surgical procedures, make claims of being a doctor or similar actions. While more may be attached to this based on the state, there are some acts that are legal depending on when performed and by whom. This means that schools could be permitted to provide prescription drugs when the individual needs them because a medical professional has already prescribed them. This may be preferred than leaving the pills in the hands of the student.

Medical Advice

When the person does not have a medical license, he or she is not permitted to provide medical advice. However, this is harder to stick charges to, because the person may be giving an opinion based on the facts, and many individuals accomplish this through online help in healthcare or through reading extensive data from course work or other materials. For this to cause legal problems, the person must be considered to be practicing medicine such as claiming to be a doctor or similar person. The information given must be specific to the illness, injury or ailment of the individual. Another manner of this aspect could be if the nonmedical person attempt to prescribe medication.

Practicing healthcare procedures without a license could cause the individual to be banned from seeking one in the future as well as fines or possible jail time depending on other factors. If the patient has been harmed due to the actions of the non-licensed, he or she could face severe punishments in the courtroom after conviction. The case first establishes that he or she was practicing medicine and not merely providing an opinion based on the symptoms. Then, the opposing counsel will explain how this led to the incident where the patient was either harmed or directed away proper medical care.

The Rights of Patients

Before any healthcare is administered or medical practice is performed on a person, it is vital that the individual understands that patients have rights. This includes privacy, availability to treatment, consent for procedures and similar items given as rights through the federal and state laws. This could mean that litigation is necessary to ensure these rights are retained when a violation occurs. This may also mean that if someone is practicing medicine on a person and violating these laws, both civil and criminal action may be sought by the law and the patient affected. It is vital that the individual charged with these crimes seeks legal assistance for the claims.

Legal Claims against a Person Practicing Without a License

Whether or not the person has knowledge of medicine or is someone with claims of being a doctor that has never gone to medical school, it is important to avoid practicing medicine when the license is suspended, revoked or never existed. Law enforcement may detain the individual until charges are pushed through for possible courtroom events. This means that it is crucial to hire a lawyer to defend against criminal proceedings and when litigation occurs. The victim may seek compensation when injury or further complications occur with improper treatment. Medication administered, surgical procedures performed and similar healthcare processes could also lead to medical malpractice suits if the person has been registered with a healthcare facility previously.


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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.

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