An oft-heard maxim of health care is “first, do no harm.” Medical malpractice may arise when this maxim is violated. Most typically, when the topic of medical malpractice comes up, it involves tales of bungled surgeries, misdiagnoses or even the failure to diagnose an illness. What these types of cases have in common is that they involve negligent acts: the health care professional did not use the level of care that is expected of them by legal, professional or societal standards. A less common, but more insidious type, of medical malpractice occurs when a health care professional’s deliberate acts result in personal injury to a patient.

When a patient visits a doctor, dentist, psychologist or other health care professional, they are entrusting a great deal of privacy and, in some cases, their lives, to a third party. It for this reason that health professionals are held to such high standards of care. However, there have been a few bad seeds in the health professions who have warped the trust placed in them by patients and caused the very harm they are bound to prevent.

In Pennsylvania, health providers have been sued for invasion of privacy and humiliation of patients. A recent case revealed the depths to which misplaced trust in a medical professional can sink. A psychiatrist used his credentials and position as a medical professional to trade prescription drugs for sexual favors in an attempt to create his own commune. This case gave rise to both criminal charges and medical malpractice claims.

The trust patients place in health care professionals is a sacred one, stretching back to ancient times. When that trust is breached and harm is done, the legal system offers the best recourse. Anyone who has experienced injury or harm as a result of a medical professional’s misdeeds should contact a seasoned medical malpractice attorney to discuss how the harm can be mitigated.

Source: Penn Live, “Psychiatrist convicted in drugs-for-sex scheme isn’t too old for prison, Pa. court says,” Matt Miller, Feb. 22, 2018