The law of negligence is described as a failure to take appropriate steps to prevent hurting or harming another person. The method of proving negligence consists of four stages. A health professional’s quality of treatment is that which can be required of a fairly qualified practitioner of that specialty. The health professional’s acts would be compared to the norm.
The word “negligence” is distinct from “mistake” or “misjudgment.” The very evidence that a treatment risk existed or that a desirable patient result was not reached does not mean neglect. This test has the functional effect that if a person prefers to have a general practitioner conduct surgery or prescribe general anesthesia, the person cannot demand the level of competence that a professional surgeon or anesthetist would offer. However, whether the general doctor appears to be a specialist in surgery or anesthesia, the patient may be able to expect special care.
The clinical negligence law requires four basics, which include:
- The burden of proof where proof that the doctor was negligent lies upon the complainant
- The duty of care which implies that there should be no difficulty in proving that the doctor was negligent
- The standard of proof which is a test of whether a claim can be proved using probability
- Injury causation used to determine whether the doctor actually failed thus causing injuries pointed out.
Source: Ryan, 2010, p. 59
A doctor is not liable to for claims that are erroneous because of mistakes or inadvertence. However, accrediting false and misleading information with disregard to the truth can lead to serious civil, administrative, and criminal penalties that include criminal prosecution, which may attract fines, and other administrative penalties (Mallen and Jeffrey, 1996, p. 33).
Violations of these laws may be in form of a promise to the practitioner of financial benefits when he or she signs on some information or even attempting to help somebody get entitled to federal healthcare facilities (Kimmelman et al., 2009, p.104). This is very common in many countries such as India and is generally described as corruption thus leading to many prosecutions.
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