In our last blog post, we talked about a medical malpractice case where a patient was held responsible for her death as opposed to the doctors who provided care for her after she was diagnosed with cancer. The jury ruled in the defendants' favor because the woman smoked heavily her whole adult life, directly contributing to her death.
We bring this up again because there is a misconception about medical malpractice: namely, that if a case is brought against a medical institution or a doctor, that the plaintiff must be right. Clearly they suffered some terrible medical tragedy, right? Wrong.
Sure, that may have happened in some cases, but that isn't the case all the time. In many medical malpractice cases, actually, the doctors or medical institution are cleared of any wrongdoing because the patient contributed to his or her unfortunate circumstances.
Defending a medical malpractice claim may be tough, but it is far from impossible. For example, if a doctor's treatment meets the medical standard for a given case, then it is unlikely that a medical malpractice claim would be successful by the supposed victimized patient. This is because if the care meets the medically-accepted standard, then the doctor's actions can't count as negligence. Medical malpractice claims are considered under the legal umbrella of negligence.
Contributory negligence is also a factor in medical malpractice cases, wherein the patient didn't follow direct orders from the patient or failed to obey the prescription medicine they were using -- and as a result, their condition or injury worsened. Medical malpractice cases aren't impossible to defend, and the plaintiff isn't always right.
Source: FindLaw, "Defenses to Medical Malpractice," Accessed June 23, 2016