We go to doctors and medical professionals for accurate diagnoses, quality care, and, hopefully, to feel better. However, it doesn’t always work out that way. In some cases, those professionals – physicians, nurses, assistants, orderlies – can cause further injury. Fortunately for patients, the legal system has developed procedures and rules to help determine who should be liable for injuries sustained while receiving medical care, known generally as “medical malpractice.” Medical malpractice liability can occur due to a flawed diagnosis, improper treatment, or even treating a patient without proper permission.
Among the most venerated of professions is the medical profession. Those who dedicate themselves to the lives and health of others are bound by strict ethical and legal standards. As our conversations and understanding about medical ethics progress, so do the laws governing medical practice.
Many are familiar with the Hippocratic Oath as it pertains to a physician’s responsibility to their patients, but few are aware of their legal rights when it comes to their medical care. Ask the average person what their rights are under HIPAA, and few will be able to explain any further than, “it protects my privacy.”
The policies and statutes that comprise medical law in the United States are complicated and impassioned. If you ever have any questions about your rights as a patient, contact an experienced attorney.