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What Counts And Doesn't Count As Medical Malpractice

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In the litigious climate in which everyone now lives, it is not uncommon for people to sue their doctors and nurses over just about everything. This is why doctors and nurses have professional insurance, to protect them against lawsuits and protect their medical licenses. Yet what is medical malpractice, and what actually counts as malpractice? There is clearly a thin line between malpractice and negligence, which is why some lawsuits do not pan out under medical malpractice. Perhaps the following will help clarify things a bit. 

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice is different from negligence, as malpractice denotes that the medical professional involved with your care or treatment caused you harm because he or she did something to you. Negligence implies that you were not cared for or treated at all, or a major mistake from lack of care led you to more harm.

To get a better picture of this situation, here are a few examples of medical malpractice:

  • The medical professional in question performed surgery on you while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which resulted in your situation.
  • The medical professional left a surgical instrument or personal item inside your body that does not belong there, resulting in a second surgery to remove it.
  • Medication was prescribed that is counter-indicative of one or more of the medications you currently take, and it nearly killed you.
  • The anesthesia used to sedate you for surgery was improperly calculated, and you could see, hear, and/or feel everything that happened during surgery but could not move or speak to tell the doctor otherwise.
  • You overheard some horrifying and nasty things said about you, which would have otherwise humiliated you were you able to speak during the procedure. 
  • The medical professional performed a procedure on you without your informed consent, and the procedure went badly.

You can also claim medical malpractice if someone dies, and the way it happened was not the way it should have. Additionally, you can sue a mental health professional if treatment fails, or the professional prescribes a medication that results in death.


Negligence is quite clear. Your nurse or doctor ignored your requests for pain medication, or refused to treat you or see you in the hospital. Your repeated attempts to be seen and treated as a patient were ignored or dismissed. Your wounds were not cared for. Such inaction resulted in your current situation.

That is how you tell the difference between medical malpractice and negligence. If you have been the victim of negligence or medical malpractice, or if you just want to learn more, talk to companies like R.J. Marzella & Associates, P.C. today.