Recently, in December 2014, a few Chinese surgeons and nurses took selfies with patients undergoing surgery. They claimed that the operating room was soon to be closed, and they just wanted some memorabilia. The outcome: a few clinicians lost their jobs, and the rest were reprimanded.
Closer to home, in June 2015, a Virginia anesthesiologist, gastroenterologist, and medical assistant were unknowingly recorded mocking, name-calling, and poking fun at a sedated patient during a colonoscopy. One recorded comment was, “After five minutes of talking to you in pre-op…I wanted to punch you in the face and man you up a little bit.” The clinician also called the patient a “retard.” Even more disturbing, one clinician declared her intent to falsify the patient’s medical record. For these offenses, a judge awarded the patient $500,000.
The Keches Law Group Medical Malpractice department receives calls every day from people describing bad care, from minor issues of rude behavior to more major concerns of misread x-rays and delays in diagnosing cancer or stroke. Often, the bad care did not cause harm and so was not legally negligent. When bad care is such that it falls below accepted standards AND when it causes harm – that is Medical Malpractice.