When you go to the doctor, you certainly do not hope that there are any negative events and you want the best possible outcome. However, there’s no guarantee that this is always what you’re going to get. There are times when conditions simply get worse or doctors don’t have treatment options that are as successful as you hoped.
But does this always mean that the event was an instance of medical malpractice? Do you want to consider a lawsuit anytime that you don’t have an optimal outcome? People pass away in hospitals every day from cancer, heart attacks, infections and much more. When is that a result of malpractice?
Negligence and a breach of duty
The thing to remember about medical malpractice is that it requires that the doctor owes a duty to the patient and then breaches this, injuring the patient in the process. In this case, the duty owed to the patient is simply reasonably expected medical care. As long as the doctor provided the type of medical care you should be able to expect at any modern medical center, they have no obligation to always achieve optimal results. Negative events are still going to happen.
When it becomes medical malpractice, however, is when the doctor is negligent or intentionally breaches their duty to the patient. One example of this could be a surgeon who operates while under the influence of alcohol, clearly in violation of their license. If it’s a situation where you – as the patient – reasonably expected better care and would have gotten it from a different doctor, then it may be malpractice and you need to know exactly what legal steps to take.