The main objective of a healthcare professional is to nurture and save the lives of the people. With this in mind, an average doctor will have studied for many years before becoming a fully accomplished medical practitioner. Doctors receive extensive education on medicine, medical administration, and for any of their specialization. This only means that they are expected to provide topnotch medical services towards the patients. The nature of the work requires these clinicians to be performing with utmost diligence. However, some doctors may still commit fatal blunders in their professional practice. Some errors may further harm a sick patient, and in worst-case scenarios, doctors may bring death instead of saving the life of a patient. This is called ‘medical malpractice’.
In recent years, cases of medical malpractice here in the Philippines have been increasing. There are times that doctors fail to provide reasonable care to the patients, and may even give erroneous treatments. Furthermore, healthcare professionals can be accused of inaccurate medical work and negligence in medical practice. This occurs when patients do not receive the level of service they expect. From this standpoint, most of the documented cases of medical malpractice happen in the metro. Plus, it mainly involves surgeons. Since there are numerous facial enhancement procedures, many people in the urban area subscribe to surgical services, only to return with a botched nose job.
Nevertheless, medical malpractice claims are also primarily documented in hospital care. Doctors and nurses may administer the wrong dosage or the wrong medicine. Furthermore, there are scenarios where clinicians fail to give complete information to the patients before any administration. This violates the rule of informed consent, and thus, another ground for medical malpractice. One notable incident of medical malpractice is the case of Ms. Jabagat. Ms. Jabagat accused a medical doctor, four nurses, and administrator of a private-run hospital in Davao City of negligence and malpractice. After receiving the medical drug, the complainant started to have implication in her lung system. Also, skin rashes start to appear. This is a form of medical malpractice because doctors are expected to provide accurate advice and decisions for the welfare of the patient.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
One way for patients to protect themselves in the event of malpractice is filing for a medical malpractice suit. The civil law states that there four elements need to be satisfied so that this lawsuit can be actualized: (1) Duty, (2) Breach, (3) Injury, and (4) Proximate causation. In ‘Duty’, there has to be a professional relationship between the doctor and the patient. When malpractice happens, medical practitioners must have agreed to provide care to the patient. In addition to that, ‘breach’ signifies that care provision does not uphold the standard care expected from clinicians. And from this ‘breach’, comes the consequence of ‘injury’. Any damage brought upon by malpractice will be considered injury. From breach to injury, ‘proximate causation’ talks about the valid relationship between the breach and the injury. When these four elements of malpractice are present in malpractice, the lawsuit will be taken care of by the authorities. Clinical practitioners should be knowledgeable of these medical lawsuits. On a side note, hospitals can be accused of medical malpractice as well.
Medical lawsuits are usually a long process of jurisprudence especially here in the Philippines. One of the recent malpractice cases was that of Dr. Mendoza, where she performed a hysterectomy to Josephine, a housewife. After the operation, there was a rolled gauze that was expelled along with foul smell from her vagina. This urged Josephine to file a lawsuit to Dr. Mendoza but she died before the trial ended. Thus, the family of Josephine continued with the case. It started in 1993 and the final verdict was given in 2011 where Dr. Mendoza was found guilty of medical negligence and malpractice. This goes to show that healthcare professionals are prone to malpractice when they do not put the utmost care in their actions and services.
From this standpoint, medical practitioners should prepare themselves from legal complaints of patients though acquiring Malpractice Insurance. The standard insurance policy on malpractice provides the following coverage:
· Breach of trust
· Loss of Documents
· Employee actions
· Civil Liability Claims
· Libel, Slander, Fraud, and Dishonesty
· There are food establishments in the area surrounding a house
· and other benefits that are only exclusive to the client and actress
Depending on the premium, doctors can upgrade their insurance to have more protection from unexpected events that may lead to medical malpractice. This helps healthcare professionals to secure their financial responsibility to a victim, and possibly save their reputations. Contrary to popular belief, hospitals can be subjected to a lawsuit too. This proves to show the extreme importance of acquiring malpractice insurance.