What is Medical Negligence?Posted on: July 19, 2018
To understand medical negligence, we have to first understand the concept of negligence on its own. Simply put, negligence is another way of describing the party at fault in an accident, whether intentional or otherwise. However, the reason attorneys use the word “negligence” over “fault” is because negligence implies a failure to obey rules, laws, or regulations that can be measured, rather than speaking in terms of mere blame and abstract disapproval.
Medical negligence, therefore, is the failure of a medical professional to adhere to the expectations or standards of their profession. This is known, in many cases, as medical malpractice. It does not mean, in any way, that a surgeon or doctor or nurse should be held to any measure of human perfection. Rather, that they must do everything in their power to abide by the level and quality of care they were charged with upon entering a position that involves overseeing the life of another human being. To do anything less is to be negligent, particularly if the person under that care gets worse or dies as a result of being poorly managed by a medical professional.
The blurred line between affordable health care and quality health care often seems hard to distinguish. As a society, we largely want our overall medical costs (prescriptions, doctor visits, overnight hospital stays) to go down and at the same time we want our doctors to give us their highest level of professional expertise. Unfortunately, like any field of service, health care professionals may often work overtime, move quickly through appointments, or even overlook details. And if you are on the receiving end of a hurried doctor visit, what happens when the symptoms you were trying to describe were ignored or overlooked and the end result is more lasting personal injury or even cancer?
Even in the midst of trying to save money on excessive tests, doctors have a primary responsiblity to the needs and concerns of their patients. Entering the office of your doctor should mean that he or she is giving both your physical assessment and your verbal explanations full attention. Anything less than this, such as a physician walking into a room with a predetermined diagnosis, is a risk to you and your overall health. And within legal circles, this may run the risk of constituting medical malpractice.
Duty of Reasonable Care in Florida
According to Florida State Statutes relating to nursing homes and health care facilities, medical professionals are expected to uphold a “duty of reasonable care” for their patients and those under the care of said facility. But reasonability can sometimes be vague or difficult to define. How, for example, can a family member know when their loved ones are not being reasonably cared for and may need to take legal action?
Below is the statute that elaborates on this condition of reasonability.
Reasonable care is that degree of care which a reasonably careful licensee, individual, or entity would use under like circumstances… such nurse has the duty to exercise care consistent with the prevailing professional standard of care for a nurse. The prevailing professional standard of care for a nurse is that level of care, skill, and treatment which, in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar nurses.
Medical professionals are held to an incredibly high standard, but they also hold our lives in their hands. Their care of our needs must maintain the utmost levels of professional integrity.
If you or someone you love have been the victim of medical negligence, please contact the law offices of Beers and Gordon P.A. for a free consultation. Our firm serves all of Seminole, Orange, Volusia, Lake, and Brevard counties, including Oviedo, Winter Springs, Altamonte Springs, Sanford, Longwood, Winter Park, Lake Mary, and Greater Orlando. Our attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience ready and willing to go the distance on your case. Call us right away at 407-862-1825.