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Malpractice, duty and professional standards

On Behalf of | Feb 19, 2024 | Medical Malpractice

Most of our readers in Maryland have a general idea of what “medical malpractice” means – many would likely boil it down to a healthcare professional committing an error of some kind that ends up doing harm to a patient. However, there is a bit more to the term.

Malpractice defined

The general idea of medical malpractice outlined above is correct, but duty also plays a large role in medical malpractice cases.

Every healthcare professional has a duty to their patients – a duty to correctly diagnose medical problems, to recommend proper treatments and to correctly perform any treatments, for example. It goes beyond the medical ethos of “do no harm” and includes the duty to do what is correct and necessary for the treatment of a patient’s medical condition.

The actual malpractice” that occurs is the breach of that duty. Surgical mistakes, prescription medication errors and even a delayed or incorrect diagnosis are all examples of forms of malpractice that breach the provider-patient duty.

So, yes, when a doctor, nurse or other healthcare professional in Maryland commits some kind of mistake or doesn’t do something they should do, those errors can lead to medical malpractice lawsuits. But, as these types of cases progress, don’t be surprised if the focus of the legal proceedings largely falls on the standard of care that was applicable in the exact situation and how, exactly, the duty owed from the healthcare professional to the patient was breached.