Why Patients Sue and How Institutions Can Mitigate Their Risk

Essay by jepaceUniversity, Master'sA, February 2010

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Medical negligence has been cited as a major cause of patient suffering and deaths in our nation. It is due to the frequency and publicity that has been given such practices that it has become a major concern to the general public. Despite such concerns and increasing incidences of suing of practicing physicians by patients, the practice is far from over. Existing statistics have shown that medical professionals have an estimated 40 percent chances of being sued in their career lifetime (Bhat, 2001). It has however been evidently established that such cases are not mainly a direct result of malpractices. It is due to this that mitigating malpractices in the medical profession needs more than just ensuring competent clinicians. This essay talks about the problem of suing of physicians by patients, its cause and possible solutions.

There are many cases involving patients and medical physicians on claims of malpractices. Many reasons have been attributed to this increasing concern on the effectiveness of our medical profession.

The first and most common claim is improper performance by clinicians during the process of treating patients (Fielding, 1999). Such involve incorrect conducting of operative and/or diagnostic activities by the doctor thus compromising the patient’s ability of realizing reliable health care. This is regarded a crime based on the fact that clinicians owe standards of care responsibility to patients (Fielding, 1999).

Medical misadventure and error of delayed diagnosis is another cause of suing of physicians by patients (Evanko, 2010). This is claimed if the doctor fails to give sufficient treatment and/or ignorance of conducting early diagnosis for terminal diseases on patients thus worsening the patient’s health condition. Failure by clinicians to effectively monitor medical condition of patients can also result to suing. Many doctors have been sued as a result of procedural failures such as...