Medical malpractice occurs where a health care professional does not do their due diligence with respect to the medical care of a patient thus causing injury or death to the patient. Courts take this type of medical professional negligence very seriously because it involves peoples’ lives. People who seek medical assistance and aid are trusting that their medical issues will be handled in a professional manner and not cause more harm than good. Medical malpractice speaks to situations where the medical assistance or lack thereof rather is harmful and even deadly in some cases.
In Pennsylvania, specifically Philadelphia, the number of medical malpractice cases has fallen in recent years. This decrease in these types of cases can be attributed to the state legislature stepping in and enacting legislation that would curb the number of medical malpractice cases reported. The legislature passed a law that would require malpractice claims to be filed in the county where the incident occurred. Additionally, the patient would receive a certificate of merit from the physician. Since these steps have been taken, Pennsylvania does not need to take any harsher measures at this time.
Having to deal with issues surrounding medical mistakes, doctor negligence, misdiagnoses and the like are difficult things to address. The doctor-patient relationship is a very trusting one. So it may be very hard for a patient to question their doctor when it comes to certain medical situations. With that being said however, it is important for patients to be their own advocate should they believe there has been a medical error that has negatively impacted them in some way.
Since medical malpractice is a complex area to navigate, having all of the pertinent information and knowledge of the situation in question will go a long way to protecting one’s rights.
Source: The Inquirer, “Report: Pa. medical-malpractice filings fell in 2012,” Harold Brubaker, June 5, 2013