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May 2017 Archives

Court rules doctor's error was mere negligence, not malpractice

Healthcare providers are held to a very high standard of care in treating their patients. Any deviation from this standard is usually called medical malpractice. But doctors can also be held liable for failing to adhere to the standard of care that governs lay persons. In Maryland, everyone is required to use reasonable care in driving their car, keeping their sidewalks clear of debris and in virtually every other aspect of their daily lives. An appellate court has recently decided that a physician's operating room error was merely ordinary negligence, not medical malpractice.

Court reinstates verdict of malpractice against psychiatrist

The field of psychiatry is unique among medical specialties in that it rarely produces objective results, such as a blood test, x-ray, MRI scan and the like. Practitioners instead rely upon the patient's subjective statements and their observations of the patient's behavior and demeanor. Nevertheless, the field has established standards of care that can provide the basis for a finding of medical malpractice. In a recent decision, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals reversed the finding of a trial court that set aside the jury's verdict that a psychiatrist erred in discharging a psychiatric patient who was in acute danger of committing suicide.

Boxer's family sues doctor and fight promoters for $50 million

Sporting events rarely give rise to medical malpractice claims, but a unique exception is the boxing match that occurred on October 17, 2015 between Prichard Colon and Terrell Williams. In a lawsuit recently filed in the District of Columbia, the physician who supervised the fight has been sued for medical malpractice by Colon's family for failing to stop the fight.

Small hospital faces four malpractice suits in two years

Most instances of medical malpractice in Maryland and elsewhere occur in hospitals, where many different healthcare professionals may be involved in the care of a single patient. Errors may be made by a physician, a nurse, an X-ray technician or any one of the myriad of care givers that attend to patients. Nevertheless, a single hospital, especially one located in a small town, should not face a significant number of lawsuits alleging medical malpractice. A remarkable exception is a community hospital in Denison, Iowa.

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