medical malpractice

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medical malpractice

Negligent conduct or unreasonable lack of skill in the performance of a medical task, either on the part of a physician or a party (e.g., a healthcare facility) in which that act or task occurs.
 
Statistics, US
In a 5-year period, 48% of surgeons and surgical specialists, 34% of obstetricians, 34% of anaesthesiologists and 15% of other physicians had had malpractice claims; 85% of all payments were made on behalf of 3% of policy holders.

Elements to be proven for plaintiff to prevail
• Duty—The plaintiff must prove the existence of a legal relationship (i.e., a duty between himself and the defendant);
• Breach of duty—Once duty is established, the plaintiff must prove that the physician breached that duty by failing to comply with accepted standards of care by malfeasance (an act not conforming to accepted standard of practice) or by non-malfeasance (failure to perform an act expected under the circumstances);
• Damages—The plaintiff must prove that he or she has sustained some injury as a result of the alleged negligent act, which can translate into a monetary value: either compensatory (tangible; as in lost wages, lost earning capacity, medical expenses) or punitive (intangible; often in the form of “pain and suffering”, where multimillion-dollar awards are not uncommon); and
• Causation—The plaintiff must prove a reasonable connection between the alleged negligent act or omission of the defendant and the suffered injury.

medical malpractice

Law & medicine Negligent conduct or unreasonable lack of skill in the performance of a medical task, on the part of a physician or a party–eg, a health care facility in which that act or task occurs Statistics, US In a 5-yr period, 48% of surgeons and surgical specialists, 34% of obstetricians-anesthesiologists and 15% of other physicians had malpractice claims; 85% of all payments were made on behalf of 3% of policy holders. See Abandonment, Assault and battery, Blood shield laws, Borrowed servant doctrine, Causation, Compensatory damages, Confidentiality, Consent, Contributory neglect/negligence, Countersuit, Damages, Defensive medicine, 'Difficult Pt. ', DNR, Emergency doctrine law, Emergency psychiatric committment, Emotional distress, Expert witness, Frivolous lawsuit, Liability, Good Samaritan laws, Informed consent, Jehovah's Witness, Medical record, Misdiagnosis, Negligence, Patient-physician relationship, Punitive damages, Quinlan case, Referral and consultation, Res ipsa loquitur, Respondeat superior, Standard of care, Statute of limitations, Therapeutic privilege doctrine, Tort, Wrongful birth.
References in periodicals archive ?
For example, in Arizona the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is two years from the date of the injury or two years from the date the patient knew or should have known (3,5) but in California, it is three years or one year from the date the injured party should have known about the injury, whichever is the earlier date.
Surprisingly, despite the frequency of avoidable errors, very few wind up as medical malpractice lawsuits. A 2013 study concluded that about 1 percent of medical errors resulted in a claim.
A particular reason of objection in medical malpractice lawsuits is ambiguity with respect to what produced the injury to the claimant.
A search of the legal literature (LexisNexis, http://www lexisnexis.com/en-us/home.page; accessed May 31, 2013) does not reveal any medical malpractice lawsuit involving the attachment of liability due to a pathologist's intradepartmental consultation; however, it must be remembered that cases reported in the legal literature comprise only a small percentage of medical malpractice lawsuits that are filed (and ultimately are dismissed or settled before trial).
Another narrowly adopted amendment would hold APRNs not under the supervision of a physician to the higher standard of care for doctors in medical malpractice lawsuits.
While both the positive and negative aspects of such indemnity agreements are clear, these agreements remain a potential sleeping giant in medical malpractice lawsuits. The impact of their use or non-use remains to be seen.
She wrote that the "juxtaposition of soaring health care costs with a decline in medical malpractice payments discredits the notion that medical malpractice lawsuits account for the rising health care costs, a position taken by those who seek to limit patients' access to compensation on these claims."
John Kitzhaber and legislative Republicans reached an agreement last year to avoid a collision over the contentious issue of medical malpractice lawsuits. The agreement allowed the governor's groundbreaking health care reform to move forward, and it now has produced a promising proposal for a better, less costly way of helping patients who are harmed by doctors' errors.
An expert-panel system established several years ago in an attempt to improve medical malpractice lawsuits has withstood a legal challenge, although the state Supreme Court has changed the way the panel's rulings can be used in jury trials.
Physicians, along with healthcare industry representatives, proponents of tort reform, and conservative lawmakers, allege America's medical malpractice crisis fuels exorbitant malpractice insurance premiums, causes younger physicians to migrate away from high-risk specialties, and adds to the sharp escalation of healthcare costs, all resulting from medical malpractice lawsuits flooding the civil justice system.
The Pennsylvania couple, Christina Mecannic, and Michael Yocabet, flied two medical malpractice lawsuits against UPMC on November 21, alleging negligence on the part of UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, University of Pittsburgh Physicians, four doctors, a nurse, and the entire staff of the hospital's kidney transplant center, msnbc.com reported.
'The Minnesota legislature had enacted a law for the purpose of eliminating nuisance medical malpractice lawsuits by requiring plaintiffs to file expert affidavits verifying that their allegations of malpractice were well-founded." The failure of a plaintiff to satisfy the affidavit requirements resulted in mandatory dismissal, with prejudice.

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