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Medical malpractice

Introduction to Medical Malpractice

One of the most disappointing things a worried relative can experience is when his/her loved one's medical condition worsens because of medical malpractice. It's bad enough when a loved one suffers from a disease or ailment, but it's absolutely worse when the condition of a patient is aggravated by the fault of the very people caring for the patient. Health care professionals are expected to help their patients get better or at least feel as comfortable as they can, despite their conditions. However, if these health care professionals fail to provide the right kind of care or even aggravate the condition of their patient due to wrong judgment, the situation can be considered medical malpractice and calls for proper legal action can be taken on behalf of the patient or the patient's relatives.

Medical Malpractice Defined

Defining medical malpractice is quite difficult, since different scenarios qualify to be called this situation. However, these different scenarios have one thing in common: the outcome of the decision or action of a health care professional is not desirable because it has hindered a patient's life or has aggravated the medical state of the concerned individual. One example of this type of professional malpractice is when a physician gives an overdose of a drug, causing the person to go into a coma or die.

It can also be considered a malpractice if the doctor insists on a certain type of treatment that is not agreeable with the concerned patient and there are other treatment alternatives available. A minor form of medical malpractice is when doctors gossip about their patients when they are bound by oath to be confidential with what they know. As you can tell, malpractice in medicine is diverse and it is usually determined by a feeling of violation or betrayal on the part of the patient and his/her relatives.

Settling Medical Malpractice

Incidents of malpractice in the health care industry almost always subsequently lead to a court case where the patient or his/her relatives desire the concerned health professional to be struck off the register, pay for damages, and to serve his/her time in jail. Of course, you can't blame families if they feel that they have been robbed of their loved one's life by the very person who was supposed to make their loved one better. However, there are certain cases where the patient and/or his/her family agree to an ADR or Alternative Dispute Resolution. The most common form of ADR is the external settlement, where the concerned health care professional fulfils certain financial and legal conditions provided by the family's patient in exchange for not undergoing a civil suit.

Avoiding Medical Malpractice

If you have a loved one who has a medical condition and you don't want him/her to get involved in a medical malpractice suit, the best thing to do is to seek medical attention from a reputable health care provider who has a clean track record. Medical malpractice is not a joke and can be stressful to the parties involved, so precautionary care from the very start is needed to avoid getting involved in such a situation.

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