Malpractice Insurance

Medical Malpractice Terms To Know For Your Security

Here are some medical malpractice terms that could be unfamiliar for patients or plaintiffs pursuing a medical lawsuit.


Contracting sickness is one thing, but worsening a patient’s condition due to medical negligence or failure is another. As we are living in the middle of a pandemic, being on the receiving end of medical malpractice is very unfortunate. For hospitals and individual doctors, acquiring medical malpractice insurance beforehand covers liability losses. On the flip side, a medical malpractice suit is a possible course of action for wronged patients to set harmful medical consequences straight.

If you are pursuing a medical lawsuit, here are some medical malpractice terms you may want to familiarize with before proceeding:

Proximate Causation

Proximate causation refers to the relation between the negligence or breach of the doctor and the resulting injury of the patient. An example is when a doctor gives incorrect diagnosis, which results in the worsening of the patient’s condition. Once it is determined that the cause of the patient’s injury or death is due to the failure of the doctor, this doctor in question can be held liable for medical malpractice.

Respondeat Superior

Respondeat superior simply translates to “let the master answer.” It is a type of a vicarious or indirect liability. This means an employer will be made liable for their employee’s negligent actions, within the latter’s course and scope of employment. Respondeat superior is applicable even if the employer in question is not engaged in any business or industry.

Res Ipsa Loquitur

Res ipsa loquitur means “the thing speaks for itself.” For medical malpractice, this doctrine allows the mere existence of an injury to justify a presumption of negligence. This can be invoked when direct evidence is not readily available, so circumstantial evidence is used instead. Judges in this situation mainly apply logic and common sense to a situation in order to determine negligence.


The Captain-of-the-Ship Doctrine doctrine imposes liability on the surgeon for the actions of the assistants under their control. This holds true, regardless if these operating room personnel are employees of the hospital, and not of the surgeon. This is likened to a captain of a ship, who is in charge of their crew who are present and assists on board.

Good Samaritan

A Good Samaritan is defined as a person who voluntarily gives help, without compensation, to assist in an emergency. Laws are in place so that no good samaritan will be liable for harm. This is especially if they were properly licensed or authorized, and were not acting through willful or criminal misconduct. This act encourages people to help one another in distress, as this serves as protection during emergencies.

In the end, all parties involved should consider added protection for any medical procedure. The hospitals, healthcare professionals, and patients can secure a policy relevant to them from trusted insurance companies in the Philippines, to safeguard their interests and welfare.