Legal Knowledge

Clinical negligence as a scourge of modern medicine

In medical practice, there are situations when the health or life of the patient can be saved or not saved, depending on a number of subjective and objective factors. The problem of the qualification of medical errors is the one that most often associated with such situations.

For the purpose of legal qualification it is necessary to distinguish the subjective and objective causes of errors in medical practice. To objective reasons attributed punishable medical errors, committed due to negligence or lack of experience, as well as the knowledge of a physician: for example, a careless inspection, inadequate assessment of clinical and laboratory data, negligent performance of operations and other treatment and preventive measures, negligent care and observation and unsatisfactory organisation of medical institutions.

Illegal abortion or failure to render aid to the patient are due to deliberate actions of medical workers, but their relation to the adverse effects (actual medical errors) can also be only the form of negligence. For medical errors, not entailing legal responsibility with regard to objective reasons, the medical workers efforts that do not violate the rules established by law and regulations, but caused damage to health or death (for example, due to insufficient supply of medical institutions specialists, equipment, medical drugs, atypical form of the disease, the abnormal anatomical features of the patient, sudden allergic reaction that could not be foreseen by health professionals).

Among the subjective reasons of medical errors account for the largest errors group includes the cases caused by lack of sufficient medical expertise that can not be qualified as ignorance. Subjective reasons of medical errors should be included: a defective inspection and examination of the patient, neglect accessible and informative method of investigation, excessive physician self-confidence, rejection of the council and consultations. Also, the list can be added with the use of outdated methods of diagnosis and treatment, blind faith in the all-new, excessive faith in intuition, hasty, superficial examination of the patient, overreliance on surgical technique, doctors desire to hide behind the authority of the consultant and the neglect of unusual symptoms.

Legal responsibilities

Unfortunately, the imperfection of the legislation in the field of medicine seriously complicates the involvement of doctors liable to make a ‘mistake’. Quality health care is provided in full compliance with the standards of diagnosis and treatment of a disease, however, they are advisory in nature, and do not allow in the case of death of the patient to qualify the decisions taken by a physician as medical errors. The most tangible evidence is the examination (a study conducted by the person(s) who have special knowledge in order to provide a reasoned opinion). The problem is that such services are quite expensive and cannot be accessed in the worst cases. Nevertheless, some of the cases can be taken under a no win no fee program – drop in at, a large legal directory of medical negligence solicitors.