Sometimes, doctors make mistakes that harm patients’ health and well-being. Physicians cannot always do their jobs perfectly, but the law does hold them to a standard of care. This means they must take a reasonable amount of care to ensure that patients are safe.
If they make medication mistakes that a careful, responsible doctor would not, and this causes harm to patients, then they may be guilty of medical malpractice.
Medication errors that may be malpractice
Prescribing the wrong drug or the wrong dosage could be medical malpractice. Other potentially dangerous mistakes include the following:
- Failing to explain common side effects of the drug to the patient
- Prescribing a medication that the person has a known allergy to
- Writing a prescription that could react to a patient’s other medications
Patients who suffer harm because of these serious medical errors may have a medical malpractice case.
Arguments doctors may give in court
In the face of the accusations, doctors may argue that they followed all the requirements that any other doctor in their position would. They may try to convince the jury that they should not have to be responsible for the damages. Damages refer to the financial harm the patient suffers from medical bills and lost wages, as well as the pain and suffering.
Another common argument is that the patient failed to provide a complete medical history or list of medications. A doctor may claim that without this information, any physician may have given the patient the same prescription.
Mistakes that may affect the case
Patients sometimes do things to add to their own injuries. Then, even though a doctor made a serious mistake, the judge or jury may have a hard time deciding how much of the harm is the professional’s fault.
For example, patients who do not follow the instructions of the doctor may make an already harmful drug even more dangerous. They could make the reaction worse by taking a medication without food or drinking alcohol after taking the medication. This could lower the amount of compensation the court awards, or the patient could even lose the case.