Doctors are held to a very high standard, and they should be. They work hard every day to keep people as healthy as possible, and their decisions have a long-term impact on those patients’ health and even their very lives. The standard does have to be high, and people expect to get professional doctors who do their best to achieve positive outcomes with every patient.
That being said, it is very important to remember that not every patient is going to have the optimal outcome. In some cases, a doctor will do nothing wrong, but they will not be able to cure a disease or fix an injury or save someone’s life. There are risks that always come along with being in a medical setting – especially with surgical procedures. Just because a patient or their family members did not get the outcome they were hoping for doesn’t mean that it is grounds for a valid malpractice case.
When does it become malpractice?
It becomes malpractice when the doctor didn’t offer the proper standard of care. They were negligent in some way. They made mistakes or committed avoidable errors.
The level of care that is provided always needs to be comparable to what could realistically be expected at any other medical institution. If the patient did not get that level of care, and negligence was the reason for it, then it may be a malpractice case. But there are many situations in which the patient did get the expected level of care, medical professionals did everything in their power to seek the optimal outcome, but that outcome simply wasn’t achieved.
Doctors may be held to a higher standard, but they cannot be expected to do the impossible. Those who are facing medical malpractice allegations need to know about all the legal options at their disposal.