Earlier this week, we wrote that only about 20 percent of medical malpractice lawsuits result in a payment to the patient. This can take the form of a jury award or a settlement out of court. Unfortunately, some types of medical malpractice are difficult to prove.
In any given year, an average of 7.4 percent of doctors will face medical malpractice lawsuits. Last week, we wrote that nearly every doctor will face at least one medical malpractice lawsuit at some point in their career.
Earlier this week, we wrote that an Ohio Court of Appeals recently decided a case which clarifies the state's "apology statute" for doctors. The court ruled that if a doctor apologizes to a patient or their relatives after a negative medical outcome, that apology can be used as evidence in a later medical malpractice lawsuit if the apology also contained an acknowledgement of fault.
For some people, saying "I'm sorry" is one of the hardest phrases to utter. This is especially difficult for doctors. Not only is it difficult for highly-skilled professionals to swallow their pride, but an apology after a negative medical outcome could become evidence in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
When we go to the doctors' office, we don't really know too much about the doctors there. We may know where they went to school or where they did their residency, but we don't know if they have ever been convicted of any crimes. More importantly, we don't know their history with medical malpractice. Wouldn't you want to know if your doctor has messed up the exact procedure you are going in for and been sued for it?
We have written that patients coming out of hospitals can sometimes suffer injuries and illnesses they didn't have going in. Improper and unnecessary tests and treatments can cause injuries and even wrongful death.
We often write that education, research and inquiry are the best tools that patients have to protect themselves. While we trust doctors to know a lot of information, the best way to prevent medical malpractice is to be an active part of your own care.
Last week, we began a discussion about an alarming report from the World Health Organization (WHO). The report says that individuals in any country are more likely to suffer medical negligence or wrongful death in a hospital than they are to die in a plane crash.