The Difference between Medical Malpractice and Medical Negligence

law29 September 12, 2013 0

Medical Negligence

Doctors, like all licensed professionals, are held to a high standard and are required to provide their patients with the best care possible to the best of their ability and knowledge. A failure to protect and inform patients can result in serious health issues and in the worst-case scenario, may even lead to death. There are two main ways medical physicians can harm their clients. They can commit either medical malpractice or medical negligence. While both potentially put the patient in harm’s way, they are very different accusations and charges.

Medical Malpractice is a form of negligence in which a health care provider fails to provide a certain service for their patient. This is always an intentional action or failure to act, and it is done on purpose, even if the intention is not to harm. In this case, a physician fails to provide treatment to a patient, willingly and knowingly, even though that means they are not upholding medical regulations and standards. The physician is aware that they are doing something they should not do, or that they are not doing something they are expected to do as a licensed professional.

Medical Negligence on the other hand, can be either intentional or unintentional. In this case, the medical physician fails to provide care that a “reasonable” individual would exercise in like situations. It often refers to a failure to act due to carelessness, and so very often it is done unintentionally or because a physician is unaware of a standard. A negligent doctor, for example, may not carefully observe data or test results and therefore fails to diagnose a patient properly. While, they did not intentionally hide this information from the patient on purpose, they failed to inform them properly. This could potentially lead them to suffer more damage and symptoms from their ailment because they were unaware and the doctor was not thorough.

Medical practitioners can also be charged for “gross negligence” charges in very extreme situations. These charges are often applied in cases where serious, careless harm is done that any layman could have identified without a medical degree. This may occur in a situation such as amputating the wrong arm, or leaving medical instruments inside of a person’s body during a surgery procedure. These kinds of accidents do not happen intentionally, but only because professionals are not paying close enough attention and become seriously sloppy in their work. These are easily avoided and prevented accidents that unfortunately can cause extreme damage to a patient.

If you or a loved one has been impacted by either medical malpractice or medical negligence, it is important that you become educated about your rights through a site or by hiring a medical malpractice lawyer to help you with your case. Medical physicians are held to a higher standard because of the elevated education they have undertaken, but they must be held responsible for their actions so that they can apply this knowledge safely and effectively with their patients to uphold a responsible medical practice.


Comments are closed.