Category: Healthcare service

doctor negligence

The FAQ on medical negligence area in a big focus

The article on the most essential aspects of clinical negligence in a broader context  is prepared in collaboration with solicitors.guru, the company that runs the most comprehensive catalog of medical negligence solicitors in the country. The article is written in an FAQ form – you will find the most relevant topics and issues considered one by one. So here we go.

What is the medical deontology?

The concept represents the doctrine of legal, professional and moral aspects, responsibilities and the rules of conducting professional responsibilities by healthcare worker in relation to the patient. Deontology is a part of medical ethics and is a collection of historically established norms of modern legislation and regulated requirements provided by practical, professional medical activity. For medical deontology adjacent problems such as medical confidentiality, medical error, euthanasia, the right to experiment on your own body, the production of medical intervention without the consent of the patient, experiments in humans, the moral and ethical problems of organ transplantation, genetic engineering, sorcery, folk and alternative medicine, and dozens of other aspects.

What is medical ethics?

Medical ethics is a particular manifestation of general ethics in medical activity. It is a science, the issue of medical humanism, honour, conscience and dignity of the medical workers. It is a science that helps develop a doctor’s ability to moral orientation in difficult situations.

What do we call medical secrecy?

This term stands for non-disclosure of information about the disease, intimate and family life of the patient by medical workers, the information that became known to them by virtue of the use of the professional duties.

Why do we need the confidentiality?

The reasons are many:

  • to protect the internal world of the person and support his/her autonomy;
  • to prevent manipulation by external forces;
  • to protect the social and economic interests of the individuals;
  • to create a basis of trust and frank doctor – patient relationships;
  • to maintain the prestige of the medical profession.

Is voluntary and informed consent of the patient (or trusted persons) a prerequisite for medical intervention?

Yes.

What do we mean by omission?

This is a sort of criminal act – a socially dangerous and illegal, passive behavior, which is expressed in an imperfect socially useful activities that a person could and should have done in the power conferred upon it by legal obligations.

What does the term medical error include?

A medical error is the actions made by doctors in the performance of their professional duties, which may be the result of honest mistakes, not containing any signs of a crime or misconduct. In contrast to the medical crimes, medical error is not the result of negligent medical attitude to their duties, and therefore, regardless of the consequences, the doctor cannot be punished under criminal law.

understanding medical negligence

Understanding the nature of clinical negligence from a consumer point of view

One of the main parameters determining the market mechanisms of health care services is specific methods of payment. Consumers almost never pay the entire price for health care out of their pockets. Of course, the consumer covers virtually all the costs, but in a very original way. Personally, out of pocket, as a rule, he pays only a fraction of the price, and sometimes doesn’t even pay anything. The rest is covered by public funds (budget, off-budget social funds, etc.), which distributes the financial burden on all participants (citizens, tax payers, etc.). Naturally, in such circumstances, the consumers are allured by over-consumption, while the manufacturers and the sellers are naturally interested in overselling. It should be noted that spending on health care, the cost and volume of medical interventions are not closely correlated with health status of population. In some cases (in some countries) the most inexpensive interventions can lead to favorable shifts in the health of the general population; in other – even the most expensive treatments lead only to a negligible effect.

Indeed, in practice, there are cases of medical care of poor quality, the effects of which may be a futile treatment or harm to the life and health of the patient. In this sense, the unqualified treatment, including the one with medical errors, is rendered with a deviation from the accepted quality standards equivalent to the injury, which may be the basis for bringing health workers to legal responsibility. In terms of the legal evaluation medical care (in order to establish grounds for prosecution of health workers and institutions) can be divided into adverse effects of treatment caused by medical errors, accidents and punishable omissions (professional offense). The fact should be underlined that even legal area is growing – according to solicitors.guru, a prominent UK legal startup, the category of medical negligence solicitors has increased by 12% in comparison with 2013.    

medicalnegligenceHealthcare patients usually can not be the same users of services just like at hotel or restaurant, since medical care is too complex to fully assess its outcomes. Providers of any services can make mistakes. But the cost of failure of a doctor is many times higher than the one, let’s say, of a barber. Patients are forced to trust the doctors, as they have little or simply no other choice. They naively believe that the doctor has no right to make mistakes, and a ‘good’ doctor is never wrong. On the other hand, the impact on patients health care market is almost unpredictable. Consumers create demand, which the doctors are forced to submit more or less willingly. The terms of providing medical services in the majority of health facilities in the presence of persistent structural imbalances in the industry and depreciation of fixed assets, shortage of personnel at the primary health care, equalisation in determining the level of wages of the direct producers, etc, – all this increases the likelihood of the formation of high level of errors among manufacturers.