Legal Consequences Of Medical Malpractice
Whenever we feel sick or have a medical emergency, we rush to the hospital knowing that the doctors will provide the best care and help us recover. Unfortunately, a single bad experience at a doctor’s clinic or a hospital prevents us from revisiting the same place. The healthcare system, doctors, and nurses symbolize expertise and quality care facilities helping millions of people restore their health and healthy lives. We barely expect these primary healthcare providers to make mistakes, yet medical malpractice incidents occur more frequently.
Thousands of lawsuits for medical malpractice are filed every year. Often these malpractice incidents are unintentional, but the results are devastating. Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor fails to provide standard care, fails to follow the treatment protocol, or misdiagnosed a patient. These mistakes can lead to a patient’s death. Doctors are dealing with human life, and slight negligence from the healthcare providers can leave a person disabled for life or result in death in severe cases. Losing a loved one to death is still bearable but knowing that your loved one could have lived if the doctor was more careful haunts you for the rest of your life.
Medical malpractice is a serious consequence, and here are some examples.
1.Suspension of Medical License
There is an overwhelming number of legal malpractice cases, around 65%, brought to firms by the victims seeking justice or compensation for their loss. When doctors have a malpractice claim against them, they cannot practice until they resolve the case. Doctors often are cautious while treating a patient. They may order different diagnostic tests to chalk out the suitable treatment protocol. With a lawsuit filed against them and in severe cases, a doctor can lose their license for good. Imagine the stress of losing that career that you have made after years of study and experience. Not every malpractice lawsuit leads to the suspension of the license. In cases where public health is in danger due to a doctor’s incompetence, they are no longer eligible to practice their occupation.
A medical malpractice case imposes more than a financial burden on a doctor. A doctor’s career is everything for them, and no one wishes for an ill outcome for their patients. However, doctors are humans and prone to mistakes resulting in a severe injury to the patient during treatment. A study reports that doctors take malpractice claims personally. They go through severe mental distress due to the lawsuit filed against them. Most physicians get equally challenged when there is an unexpected outcome like an accidental death. They know that it can lead to malpractice claims and leave them stressed for the rest of their lives if they get their license suspended. In such situations, a physician may feel overwhelmed and out of control. At the same time, many doctors have reported they face severe depression and anxiety. Some even suffer from symptoms of anger management and alcoholism.
Can you name the best doctor in your town or any other specialist? You can surely give us a few names when recommending a doctor to a friend or a colleague. Doctors have a reputation in their circle, and they have spent years of service to get the recognition they deserve in their field. A doctor sued for malpractice goes through a lot involving the social humiliation they have to bear in their family and colleagues. Once a qualified and best doctor can soon become the talk of the town due to slight negligence resulting in a lawsuit.
4.Losing Quality of Life
Doctors are well known for their expertise, and they can travel to any place and resume their work based on their expertise and years of experience in their field. However, when a patient’s attendant or a family member files a lawsuit against the doctor, it weighs heavily on the doctor. Unless the case gets resolved, a doctor cannot continue their practice. Depending on the nature of the claim and the case’s duration, a doctor may have to live with minimal resources while fighting mental and physical distress. In addition, the mental distress affects their family relationships and leaves a bad impact on their children.
5.Loss of job
Even if a doctor’s license doesn’t get suspended, having a malpractice case on their record discourages many employers from allowing them to serve the healthcare company. Although the court may impose some limits, such instances do not prevent doctors from practicing. However, people and employers may not trust the doctor who once had a lawsuit filed for malpractice. Moreover, it takes years in such cases for the doctor to find a stable job and start again.
Every year more than 12000 deaths occur due to unnecessary surgeries resulting due to misdiagnosis of a doctor. Misdiagnosis is a common cause of medical practice resulting in injuries and consequences for both patients and doctors. A doctor accused of malpractice has to bear the financial loss but also has mental health issues. A single malpractice case can ruin their career, which they have worked hard to sustain for years. Many doctors face loss of their work time due to such cases. Yet, they are always dangling between the case settlement and resuming their normal practice without any hurdle.