It is the legal duty of all doctors to provide proper and adequate health care to their patients. They are legally allowed to refuse to take a new patient, whether due to personal reason or a clinical disagreement with a patient. However, if a doctor has accepted a patient, then he/she can not turn away that patient.
Patients have a legal right to get appropriate medical treatment. If the doctors do not or can not provide proper medical care, then it amounts to medical malpractice-for which patients can rightfully sue their doctors. We will look at three areas of malpractice in this article.
Negligence is a major type of medical malpractice. A doctor can be sued for negligence if she fails to provide you with the kind of medical care that any reasonable, qualified doctor would give you in those particular circumstances.
If she does not meet that standard of competence, care and conduct, then you can legally sue her. If you suffer an injury or disease due to the negligence of your doctor, then she may be legally bound to pay you.
A doctor can not put forth any excuses, such as, "I did the best I could." If she fails to act reasonably, then she may have to pay her liability.
Failure to obtain informed consent from a patient
Failing to get informed consent from the patient before administering medical treatment is another type of medical malpractice. Sometimes it may also be considered an assault.
A doctor must inform you about your medical condition. You have a right to know the nature and details of the treatment recommended by your doctor. Unless you are well-informed about the tests and procedures involved, you are not in a position to give your consent to the treatment.
A doctor is not required to explain each and every risk, but she must disclose the risks relevant to your consent for the treatment.
A doctor is legally obligated to obtain your informed consent before starting your treatment. Informed consent means you consent to the treatment only when you are well acquainted with the nature of the medical procedure, risks involved and other possible options.
If the doctor does not follow this guideline, then she can be sued for medical malpractice. However, you can only sue your doctor if the lack of informed consent results in medical problems. Otherwise, your doctor will not be liable to you.
The third kind of medical malpractice is breaking the contract between patient and doctor. This is a recent addition to the list of medical malpractice. You must discuss with your lawyer how the abovementioned contract is related to your medical services plan.
If you are a victim of medical malpractice: what you should know
You need to speak with a personal injury/medical malpractice lawyer right away. They are experts at this sort of thing and know how to handle hospital administrations and insurance companies, you don't.
Don't sign anything! The hospital or doctor's office may want you to sign a "release" of some sort as a "routine thing" they do in these types of situation, don't sign it, and bring it to your lawyer.
A medical malpractice action must be brought to court within two years of the alleged act. Act quickly before the witnesses start to forget the events. It will cost you nothing to speak with a lawyer; not doing so is foolishness,
One final comment
Some people may be reluctant to bring a suit against a family doctor they have known for years and maybe even interact with socially, this is understandable. The truth is you have been insured by this person and deserve to be treated with respect and compensated for your injuries. Your doctor has insurance; this is why they have it!
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