When going to a medical professional, it is expected that he or she will use their expertise to treat their patient to the best of his or her ability. Doctors go through many years of training, so they should be able to treat people with a certain level of competency. Doctors sometimes do not do what is required and misdiagnose, mistreat, or perform a procedure improperly leading to injury. People can become severely disabled and even die due to this negligence.
Punishment for medical malpractice goes back many years. The code of Hammurabi, from 2030 B.C., details medical responsibility. It states, “If a doctor has treated a gentleman with a lancet of bronze and has caused the gentleman to die, or has opened an abscess of the eye for a gentleman with a bronze lancet, and has caused the loss of the gentleman’s eye, one shall cut off his hands.”
Medical malpractice suits have become more civilized but are still serious lawsuits. Doctors need to be held accountable for problems they create while treating patients.
There are four parts to a medical malpractice suit:
- A professional duty owed to the patient
- Breach of duty
- Injury caused by the breach
- Resulting damages
This means that the doctor was supposed to treat the patient to the best of his or her ability, was negligent and breached that duty, caused an injury, and the patient suffered a loss as a result.
Doctors are supposed to heal, not hurt patients. At Goldberg, Persky & White we understand the suffering that can be caused by medical malpractice. If you or a loved one was injured due to a negligent doctor, you may be entitled to file a claim. Fill out our contact form or call 412-471-3980 to learn your options and speak to an attorney.
Sonny Bal, “An Introduction to Medical Malpractice in the United States” PubMed (November 26, 2008). [Link]