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Definitions on the web:
Medical malpractice is professional negligence by act or omission by a health care provider in which care provided deviates from accepted standards of practice in the medical community and causes injury or death to the patient, with most cases involving medical error. Standards and regulations for medical malpractice vary by country and jurisdiction within countries. Medical professionals may obtain professional liability insurances to offset the risk and costs of lawsuits based on medical malpractice. A doctor would be liable for (depending on the circumstances) such things as prescribing experimental drugs and performing cosmetic surgery.
Negligence in law, the failure to do something that a reasonable person of ordinary prudence would do in a certain situation or the doing of something that such a person would not do. Negligence may provide the basis for a lawsuit when there is a legal duty, as the duty of a physician or nurse to provide reasonable care to patients and when the negligence results in damage to the patient.
Negligence is the predominant theory of liability concerning allegations of medical malpractice, making this type of litigation part of Tort Law. Since the 1970s, medical malpractice has been a controversial social issue. Physicians have complained about the large number of malpractice suits and have urged legal reforms to curb large damage awards, whereas tort attorneys have argued that negligence suits are an effective way of compensating victims of negligence and of policing the medical profession.
A person who alleges negligent medical malpractice must prove four elements: a duty of care was owed by the physician; the physician violated the applicable standard of care; the person suffered a compensable injury; and the injury was caused in fact and proximately caused by the substandard conduct. The burden of proving these elements is on the plaintiff in a malpractice lawsuit.
When illness or injury forces you to see a physician or go to the hospital, you can generally be assured that a medical professional's years of experience and training will result in excellent treatment. But in truth, medical care providers are only human, and errors are always possible. Medical Malpractice occurs when a negligent act or omission by a doctor or other medical professional results in damage or harm to a patient.