There is growing concern over the increasing numbers of reports channeled by victims and patients as complaints concerning medical malpractices committed by practitioners in hospitals. Medical malpractices may at time result in irreparable damages and injuries, in extreme cases, it results in deaths. Medical malpractices harm patients as such they warrant lawsuits. Unfortunately, medical malpractices also promote legal liabilities for the medical institution, the medical practitioner, and pharmaceutical providers. The government under act 95/2006 provides that medical service providers have the duty of providing malpractice insurance that covers damages caused under malpractices conducted by their practitioners. Despite the move by the government the reported cases of malpractices are still on the rise (Ruxandra, 2017). Although the increased rates of malpractices prompt health reforms, they are known to jeopardize the doctor-patient relationship.
Malpractices have resulted in widespread hospital protests from patient victims. A career in medical practice requires an individual who is noble and concise in his operations; therefore, the reported instance of malpractice go against expectations set for practitioners. Malpractices are as a result of neglect, demotivation from work, and organizational challenges. When doctors are frustrated under the hospital, it is probable that they will not be as careful and motivated when handling their patients. However, some cases occur naturally from human error. Malpractices that rise from demotivation can be remedied by the hospital developing appropriate work incentives, and doctors should not be given too much workload as handling patients and concentrating at all times may be difficult. Furthermore, medical institutions should develop appropriate strategies that will bring back the constructive patient-doctor relationship that previously existed. The most conventional method would be the development of institutional healthcare reforms that guide practitioners on malpractices (He & Qian, 2016).
Legal procedures involving malpractice suits are relatively complex. The medical institution may have enough funds to hire the best legal counsel for such cases. Therefore, they have an appropriate defense in legal battles. However, provided that evidence is conclusive the victims may end up gaining compensation on what happened. Unfortunately, for some legal actions, past evidence against the doctor is at times disqualified as evidence. However, this results in overlooking of the incompetence in other cases that have occurred. For court cases where the evidence the professionalism of the doctor is placed under question, and these results finding justice for victims of both present and past malpractices.
Medical institutions may decide to dissociate themselves from cases of medical malpractices committed by a single practitioner. Therefore, responsibility lies on a single individual who has committed the misconduct especially in instances where medical institutions have provided institutional regulations on malpractice. However, most practitioners would defend themselves as they would argue that liabilities occur at work due to natural human error. Practitioners can also protect themselves against malpractice lawsuit by signing up with insurance agencies that provide malpractice insurance in case a medical situation goes wrong. For some conditions, closure of information on what exactly happened to the victim and patients may result in forgiveness or a simple settlement outside the courthouse.
In cases of malpractices, the victims need to know the truth of what happened. However, most practitioners fear that admitting to the fault may jeopardize their career and result in legal battles. Injured patients and families of the dead malpractice victim always sue the practitioners as they desire closure on what indeed happened. Sometimes all it takes is telling the truth and providing an apology to resolve the situation instead of letting it drag to the courts. Many hospitals have since adopted a communication and resolution program for their hospitals to help handle malpractice issues. The communication and resolution programs (CRP) help provide appropriate communication to patients who have suffered medical injuries (Kachalia et al., 2018). The CRP programs increase transparency and help maintain the doctor-patient relationship.
In cases of medical errors, the program provides that the institutions will carry out an in-depth investigation to find the cause of the problem. From there the practitioner is required to draft a report that provides an elaborate explanation on what happens. After which the practitioners are required to give the reason to patients or families of the victim. The statement includes the practitioner, pharmaceutical provider, or the institution taking responsibility and accountability for their actions. Medical institutions also include the compensation that will be handed out to the victims. Although most medical providers support the establishment of the CRP programs as it one of the best ways of promoting corporate social responsibility, providers remain skeptical on the liabilities that may occur (Kachalia et al., 2018). Fortunately, research carried out on hospitals provide that institutions that have implemented CRP have reduced financial costs compared to those that do not have CRP.
Most medical institutions agree on the need to implement the CRP as disclosure for medical errors. Organizations that support it argues that it promotes improved service provision, patient welfare, as well as the quality of health service. However, some hospitals do not support disclosure due to the underlying legal risks. Such medical providers are afraid of the stigma associated with making medical errors. Furthermore, they argue that since the deed has occurred, there is no remedy as such there is no need to share the information with the victims as it will only hurt them.
Additionally, medical service providers are afraid that providing disclosure implies producing a statement by a healthcare professional. A declaration would mean admitting guilty as such, and it may serve as an admission that may be used to sue a practitioner in the case of legal liability. Practitioners fear to jeopardize their careers over spilled milk.
In countries such as Brazil medical culture provides that hospitals are not entitled to disclose information even in cases malpractice. Unfortunately, this results in increased chances of negligence due to the lack of accountability, lack of disclosure results in increased medical disputes against patients suffering from injuries resulting from malpractices. The Brazil government should thus develop medical malpractice compliance rules to ensure that service quality and responsibility by medical institutions (Mendonca, Gallagher & Oliveira, 2018). Health care providers also have their own rules on medical compliance. Certain medical malpractices go unpunished especially if no injuries or harm occur to the patient. For such cases, the medical institution may choose to assume the matter, and the doctor goes away with a simple reprimand.
However, some small mistakes may result in the death of a patient. In such cases, some hospitals may decide to cover up the malpractice and place the doctor on suspension. Medical institutions that do not use the CRP program may choose to handle the issue as an internal affair for fear of legal liabilities that cost the institution lots of money. In situations that result in death, the doctor suffers suspension for a while as providing heavy punishment for malpractices does not assure that a repeat occurrence will not happen especially for mistakes as simply as syringe labeling. Such institutions would apologize for the death of patient but withhold a report on what exactly happened. Other institutions may also prefer to offer compensations using the CRP program that provides taking responsibility and offering an apology. Monetary compensation solves the dispute by preventing legal liabilities of court cases that may take longer and cause the organization more costs. However, the Bible provides that people should forgive even in the advent of atrocities. For examples of malpractices, victims may end up suffering from permanent injury or death. Christians are encouraged by biblical teaching to forgive especially when the practitioner has admitted guilt and offered an apology.
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