A patient comes to you for medical care, and you try to help them. Perhaps you’re a surgeon who carries out an operation or a dermatologist who attempts to remove a patch of skin cancer from someone’s forehead. Naturally, you’re going to do your best with their care.
Unfortunately, the operation is not as successful as you would have hoped. Perhaps the person doesn’t make a full recovery or has more complications than they wanted. Maybe the skin cancer returns and they question if you got all of it.
You fully admit that the outcome of this case was not ideal, but does this constitute medical malpractice? If the patient threatens to sue you for not doing what they wanted you to do, do they have a claim?
What type of care did you provide?
The most important thing to remember here is that medical malpractice hinges on the idea of substandard care. Essentially, you have to fail to do something or take a negligent action so that you don’t provide the level of care that should have naturally been expected by that patient. The care you provided was worse than they would have gotten somewhere else, and it was your fault, so that is malpractice.
Simply having an outcome that is less than ideal does not mean that malpractice occurred. There are many cases in which doctors and surgeons do the very best that they can and they simply can’t save someone’s life or can’t help them reach 100% healing. Doctors are not held to a standard where they have to be perfect. They just have to provide adequate care and avoid making mistakes.
If you’re being sued for malpractice when you did everything in your power to achieve the best results, then you need to know about your legal options.