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Detroit Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Consider the options for medical malpractice liability

Being injured while under the care of a doctor is something that most people can't even imagine will happen to them. When this does occur, you should consider that a reason to take action. One of the options you have is to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Michigan laws provide some very strict protections for patients. When these protections aren't respected and you suffer an injury, you will need to determine who is going to be held liable for the damages. There are several options to consider when you are trying to figure out this point for your case.

How some medical malpractice claims can be defended

On this blog, we focus on the issues that face victims of medical malpractice and how these people can seek justice given the horrible treatment they received at the doctor's office. However, sometimes it is beneficial to analyze the other side of the issue to have a better understanding of the whole topic. In this regard, today we want to talk about the defenses doctor's and medical institutions use to combat medical malpractice claims against them.

The first is just standard defense tactics against a negligence claim. Medical malpractice is considered a standard negligence claim, so any defenses to these claims could work. For example, if the patients injuries weren't caused due to medical error or if the doctor acted within industry guidelines and standards, then a medical malpractice claim could fail.

Why are medical malpractice lawsuits relatively common among OB-GYN practitioners? P.2

Previously, we began looking at the topic of medical malpractice in the context of OB-GYN care. As we noted, there are multiple reasons medical malpractice litigation is more common in the field of OB-BYN care. One reason for this is that there are more inherent risks in prenatal care and childbirth. And while not every mistake in care translates into a meritorious medical malpractice claim, the failure of providers and hospitals to satisfactorily communicate with patients often leads to litigation.

Injuries in childbirth can have serious, lifelong effects for mothers, children

Diagnosis errors can greatly harm patients

Some medical conditions are urgent in nature and require an accurate and prompt diagnosis. Some of these conditions include heart attacks and strokes, which necessitate immediate treatment. Other conditions, such as cancer need rapid treatment as well, to attempt to prevent the spread of the disease.

Some doctors fail to make the proper diagnosis. This can occur in several different ways. The doctor might not diagnose the patient with any issue when something problematic is, in fact, present. Other times, the doctor might make an incorrect diagnosis. The doctor might also diagnose a condition when there isn't anything wrong. All of these can have a negative impact on the patient.

Life-threatening shoulder dystocia in childbirth

One fear that some pregnant women have is that their babies will be so big that they can't be born. An expecting mother might jokingly wonder if she will remain pregnant forever.

While remaining pregnant forever obviously isn't possible, there is a chance that your baby will be too large to be safely born vaginally. A condition known as shoulder dystocia might occur during birth. This is a potentially life-threatening issue that must be properly addressed.

What duty does a doctor have to a patient?

Seeking medical care for a condition shouldn't be a gamble with your life. You count on the doctors who care for you to do the job they are supposed to do. The last thing that you expect is to suffer harm because of something a doctor's negligence.

A doctor who is treating you owes you a duty of care. There are several things that you have to think about if you were injured at the hands of the doctor who was caring for you.

Study looks at low reporting rate of medication errors among anesthesiologists

Medication errors are a common type of medical error observed in the health care industry. In many cases, medication errors are preventable. These errors can be traced back to physicians, of course, in the prescription of medications, but also to pharmacists who prepare and dispense the medication, nurses who administer the medication, and the health care administration responsible for supervising medication-related matters.

As we've noted before on this blog, health care providers are not always transparent when it comes to informing patients about medical errors. This is no different with medication errors. In fact, according to a recent study looking at medical error reporting error rates among anesthesiologists, medication errors may be significantly underreported by that section of the health care industry. 

A bit about medical malpractice claims based on failure to obtain informed consent

In our last post, we noted both the importance of informed consent in health care, as well as the fact that informed consent is not necessarily always sufficient. Under Michigan law, negligence can occur with informed consent when a physician fails to reasonably inform a patient of the risks of a treatment.

Failure to provide reasonable informed consent means failing to provide the patient adequate information, information that would be provided by a reasonable physician with similar training and experienced in the same or a similar community, before pursuing a given course of treatment. In cases where the plaintiff would have chosen not to pursue the procedure had he or she been provided reasonable informed consent, there may be a legal claim there worth pursuing. 

Why do doctors refuse to admit or apologize for mistakes?

According to research conducted by John Hopkins University, medical errors kill approximately 251,000 patients each year across America. Countless other patients are injured by medical malpractice.

While these numbers are staggering, the number of families that receive an apology is very small. In fact, it's the unspoken rule of most hospitals and medical providers to never admit fault for anything that goes wrong. The vast majority of injured patients and grieving families are forced to file medical malpractice lawsuits in order to get answers and find closure.

MSU faces potential liability for failures related to physician sexual assault allegations, P.2

Last time, we began looking at a lawsuit filed against Michigan State University for its alleged failure to supervise a physician accused of sexually assault female patients during medical examinations and procedures. As we noted last time, one of the areas of focus in the litigation is the university’s new informed consent policy.

The policy, which was only recently adopted, requires informed consent from patients for examinations, treatments or procedures which are particularly sensitive, such as vaginal and rectal exams, as well as pelvic floor procedures. The policy requires that a physician wear gloves and that the patient provides consent to the procedures after a clear explanation of the procedure.