Medical Negligence

Outline

Introduction: The primary duty of clinicians is to promote patient health and safety, thereby improving quality of health for patients. Unfortunately, there has been a significant increase in incidents of medication errors, which are an indication of medical negligence. Reports indicate that medication errors “are the third leading cause of death in the United States behind heart disease and cancer” (Guerra, 2016 p.7). It is further reported that out of every 277 operations, 193 medication errors occur (Sehgal & Trikha, 2018). When such incidents occur, it is obvious that patients’ lives are put in grave danger. For this reason, it is important for the government to review the law and enforce measures that will minimize the prevalence of medication errors.

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Objective of the study

This paper documents the prevalence of medication errors in the United States and in other parts of the world. It also explores and presents the consequences of medication errors on patients as well as clinicians. Through this exposition, the reader will be led to see and understand the new for legal reforms aimed at addressing and mitigating medical negligence.

Literature Review

Consequences of medication errors

Medication errors lead to new health problems:

Inappropriate dosing has been found to cause peptic ulcers; serious overdoses can cause fatal strokes (Schachter, 2009).

Death: over 98,000 reportedly die every year due to medical negligence (Thomas, 2013).

Medical negligence may also create legal problems for clinicians

The need for legal reforms

Clinicians who treat patients negligently are liable to legal consequences (Carr, 2014).The compensation commonly prescribed by law in cases of medical negligence is money.

Inasmuch as monetary awards may provide some sort of relief to affected persons, monetary compensation is not always the effective tool of undoing the harm caused by medical negligence. Carr (2014) observes that many people just want to be apologized to and made to understand why the medication error happened.

References

Carr, C. (2014. Unlocking medical law and ethics 2e. Routledge.

Sehgal, R., & Trikha, A. (2018). Yearbook of Anesthesiology-7. Delhi: Jaypee Brothers,Medical Publishers Pvt. Ltd.

Guerra, T. (2016). How to pronounce drug names: A visual approach to preventing medication errors. Raleigh, N.C.: [Lulu.com].

Schachter, M. (2009). The epidemiology of medication errors: how many, how serious?. British journal of clinical pharmacology, 67(6), 621-623.

Thomas, P. (2013). Medical negligence dangers. http://www.medicalleadership.org/medical-negligence/

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