The Effects of Medical Negligence on Physicians

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Malpractice lawsuits are starting to be more serious than they used to be. They are intensely advertised in order to raise awareness on the consequences of medical errors. The media is trying to draw attention on lack of hygiene standards, disregard for patient safety and so on. However, there is little information available to the public about the effects that medical negligence lawsuits have on the physicians. Usually, patients are the ones who read a medical claims guide to see what can be done in case of malpraxis, but doctors are also advised to do research on the necessary steps taken if they are accused of negligence.

Possible causes of medical negligence

A lot of the medical errors occur due to the lack of hospital organization. However, when a patient is severely affected, most of the blame falls on the doctor who did the procedure. He may not have had proper equipment and was forced to improvise in order not to risk the patient’s life. He may have been doing too many hours and he made a mistake because of tiredness. There are many more other reasons which are out of the physician’s hands, but which can be the cause of a mistake he makes. Furthermore, there is always human error, which is a factor that cannot be controlled. How many of you haven’t made errors even in situations when you had to be extra careful. It is true that a surgeon has a greater responsibility than other people but that doesn’t mean that he is not human. We expect doctors to operate with robotic precision but they too can make mistakes.

Direct effects on a physician

When a healthcare provider makes a mistake that permanently damages a patient, his career starts heading on a descending route. Whether or not the negligence is proven, the physician that was accused of malpractice will never again benefit from the same respect from his colleagues or his patients. It is not uncommon for doctors who have committed medical errors to lose confidence in their abilities which will increase the risks of future mistakes. Furthermore some doctors are so affected on an emotional level that they can even go into a severe depression. There were even some cases when certain physicians committed suicide after being accused of malpractice.

What could be done?

There are a lot of things that need to change in the medical world. The standards of care need to improve and modern equipment needs to be implemented in all healthcare institutions. However, another thing that needs to change is the way that medical errors are viewed. There should be a distinct difference between errors and negligence as they are two different things. In order for doctors to be able to own up to their mistakes, the world needs to be more understanding. In a lot of cases, doctors try to hide their mistakes in order to avoid dealing with the shame of owning up to them. If the medical world had a different perspective on negligence, things like this would never happen. The pressure on doctors would be smaller and they would make less mistakes. Furthermore, if they felt safe enough to recognize their mistakes, the proper authorities could make a thorough analyse of the mistake and the causes that lead to it in order to prevent similar future scenarios.

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