If a patient is hurt directly due to mistakes made during treatment, a medical practitioner may be held accountable for medical malpractice and be susceptible to legal action. Individuals who experience these injuries as a direct result of medical negligence can hold the practitioners liable for such injuries under the rules and regulations that have been created for such situations.
Differences between Negligence (Malpractice) and Battery (An Intentional Tort)
The term “battery” refers to improper acts or activities that people participate in intending to damage or hurt the receivers of the action without the receivers’ being aware of the activity. A battery is an intentional act in which a medical professional performs a treatment procedure without the patient’s consent, and the practitioner is held accountable if the patient is injured (Simons, 2021). When someone commits an intentional tort, they do so intending to inflict the victim both physical pain and mental agony as a result of their actions. They do it with the knowledge that they will succeed in accomplishing the goal.
On the other hand, negligence or malpractice can occur when a person on duty inadvertently violates the predetermined norms and code of conduct in their area of involvement.
As a consequence, the act causes harm to another person. Negligence can be ascribed to carelessness on the part of the actor. For example, the actor may ignore standard operating procedures out of carelessness, creating irreparable harm to the receiver. Someone in this position is responsible for making reparations for the harm. In the case of a deliberate tort, every culpable defendant is obligated to pay the entire amount of the claim made by the complainant. On the other hand, in cases involving negligence, each defendant is only responsible for paying their proportionate share of the damages when they are found liable for the incident.
The Four Elements of Proof Required in a Negligence Tort Case
Duty of care or standard of care
A duty of care, which is synonymous with the term “standard of care,” says that there must be parameters and directing principles, each of which asks for full obedience to accomplish the outcomes sought. For instance, the medical business must adhere to a set of governing principles, such as ensuring patient-doctor confidentiality, thus complying with the regulations that control the field.
Breach of duty
A person commits a breach of duty whenever they fail to act in a manner that conforms to the predetermined care norms. It is common for professionals who have worked in their areas for several years to disregard the stages of the procedures involved in their job (Griffith, 2020). The reason is that because the current situation is comparable to the one they were dealing with before, they must use what they learned in the past, which would constitute a violation of duty.
The term “causation” refers to the series of occurrences that culminated in the injuries sustained by an individual. It demonstrates a direct relationship between the cause of the injury or damage and the repercussions that the sufferer has had to deal with as a direct result of the occurrence of the incident.
In order to establish beyond any reasonable doubt that there was, in fact, an occurrence of carelessness, there must be proof. The negligence must have resulted in the injury or death of another individual in order for the claim to be viable. The harm or injury that was caused must be either directly tied to the area of carelessness or indirectly related to the breach as a consequence.
Difference Between Vicarious Liability and Individual Liability
Vicarious liability is a legal concept that defines what happens when one medical practitioner is held liable for the negligent behavior of another. Vicarious responsibility differs from individual liability in that, according to the former, a supervisor, the doctor on duty at the time, or even the entire institution might be held liable for the negligent conduct of a single medical practitioner who works there. On the other hand, individual liability may only be imposed on the individual who committed the negligent conduct. In the framework of individual responsibility, the only person liable for a medical practitioner’s negligent behavior is that practitioner; no other parties are considered.
Tort Reforms, Significance, and Tort Considered Remedies
Legislation, known as “tort reform,” was adopted to decrease the number of baseless lawsuits filed against medical professionals. It contributes to the lessening of the overall cost of the premiums for malpractice insurance. Tort reform is a regulation or legislation implemented in numerous jurisdictions to reduce the number of minor lawsuits filed against medical practitioners since it causes medical institutions to lose so much money in reimbursing the victims. The goal of tort reform is to help reduce the number of lawsuits filed against medical practitioners. The regulation of the sum of money that can be awarded to patients by the court for non-economic losses like pain and suffering, and stress is one of the potential solutions for tort reform currently being considered. Restrictions on non-economic damage are one of the types of non-economic losses that can be compensated. Alternative tort resolution is an additional type of tort remedy. This type of resolution asserts that disputes may be resolved without the participation of a court; rather, the parties concerned can work out their differences on their own.
Ethical Responsibilities, Principles of Medical Practice in Relation to Negligence, Battery
Ethical responsibility is the ability to recognize, interpret, and act per the many different ethical norms and principles that have been established in the medical sector and are designed to protect both patients and medical personnel. The capability is required in order for one to fulfill their ethical commitments. Below are some of the fundamental principles of ethics. Justice argues that all individuals should be treated equally and fairly and that the advantages of society should be divided equally. Under the autonomy concept, it is essential to provide the patient with their complete medical history to actively participate in the decision-making process regarding their medical care (Childers, 2021). As a result, patients can exercise continued control over their medical treatment. In light of the beneficence principle, it is appropriate for the attending physician to provide the patient with the highest possible level of care within the constraints of what is practically possible. According to the non-maleficence principle, a healthcare practitioner should only utilize treatment techniques on a patient that will not damage the patient in any way. It ensures that the patient receives the highest level of care possible.
Childers, R. G. (2021). Tort reform: Do details matter? Health Economics, Policy and Law, 16(3), 308–324.
Griffith, R. (2020). The elements of negligence liability in nursing. British Journal of Nursing, 29(3), 176–177.
Simons, K. W. (2021). Justifying and categorizing tort doctrines: What is the optimal level of generality? Journal of Tort Law, 14(2), 551– 573.