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Medical Malpractice: The Hidden Consequence

  When you are sick or injured, it can be a significant decision to put your life and health in the hands of someone else. We rely on h...


When you are sick or injured, it can be a significant decision to put your life and health in the hands of someone else. We rely on healthcare professionals to make us healthy, remove our diseased tissue, and help us to return to full health. When something goes wrong as a result of medical malpractice, it does not only affect the injured party. While medical malpractice lawyers Cleveland Ohio may benefit from these situations, they would be the only ones at the party. Medical malpractice affects healthcare professionals, patients, and the relationship between these two groups. This action has far-reaching consequences you may not have expected, which change every level of patient care. 

The Cost Of Healthcare
Perhaps an unexpected consequence of medical malpractice is the effect it has on the cost of healthcare. As malpractice suits become increasingly common, there is a fear that the costs of settling will be passed onto patients through increased doctors fees and insurance premiums. As some lawsuits can run into millions of dollars, this is not an insignificant change for the patient. Increasing premiums may also lead to competitions between states, with more patients opting to receive care in an affordable location. This creates a situation where certain areas have limited access to healthcare due to ever-rising premiums. 

The Rise Of Defensive Medicine
In addition, there is a fear that an increase in malpractice lawsuits results in ‘defensive medicine,’ a system whereby doctors try to cover every possible risk by ordering additional tests and procedures which are not strictly necessary. While the benefits to the patient may be questionable, these additional requests do help to protect doctors against any possible claims of negligence or malpractice. Not only does this increase the cost of procedures, but it can also be detrimental to the patient, who is put under additional stress, and made to undergo an increasing number of unnecessary tests merely to prevent a lawsuit. 

Lack Of Trust
One of the most significant consequences of medical malpractice is the lack of confidence it generated between doctor and patient. If a patient is due to see a doctor who has been sued or investigated, they are far less likely to agree or consent to potentially life-saving procedures. This can result in patients delaying treatment until it is too late due to an inherent lack of trust in the healthcare system and the professionals within it. 

Lack Of Doctors  
As well as patients, doctors can also be affected by claims of medical malpractice. While insurance companies and lawyers may resolve any lawsuits, the emotional and psychological impact on the doctor should not be ignored. It can put them under a tremendous amount of stress and lead to them questioning their abilities in the job. This can then impede their performance and has in the past resulted in doctors leaving the medical profession altogether. Doctors go from swearing to save and preserve life wherever possible to being forced into a less litigious environment for the sake of their own health.