What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?
By definition, medical malpractice occurs when a patient is harmed because a doctor, nurse or other medical professional fails to provide proper treatment. Doctors owe a “duty of care” to each of their patients, which means doctors are responsible for avoiding any acts or omissions that could reasonably be foreseen to cause unnecessary harm. Things like withholding information, failing to order the proper medical tests, and misdiagnosing or delaying diagnosis can all harm the patient.
When a doctor’s treatment fails to meet the medical profession’s own minimum standards, that doctor has breached the duty of care. If that breach harms or injures a patient, it constitutes medical malpractice.
The most important job of a doctor is to accurately diagnose a patient’s illness. Misdiagnosis, in particular, poses a serious risk to that patient because he or she may receive the wrong treatment or medication for a serious condition. When this happens, the patient may miss critical chances for treatment, improvement, or healing. When a doctor misdiagnoses the patient due to negligence, he or she may be liable for malpractice.
If your own health deteriorates as the result of such improper treatment or medication, an Atlanta medical malpractice attorney like Lloyd Bell can help you understand your legal rights and options, which may include a medical malpractice lawsuit. Contact us today for more information.