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Medical malpractice: Many doctors evade responsibility for errors

Many medical patients in Kentucky and throughout the nation have suffered catastrophic, if not fatal injuries due to doctor error and other types of medical negligence. Does a doctor's refusal to admit his mistakes or offer an apology constitute medical malpractice? While those actions alone are typically not grounds for a lawsuit, it certainly would be seen as poor ethics by most people.

A team of national researchers conducted a study that involved approximately 300 primary care doctors. They were presented with various fictitious scenarios and asked how they'd respond in similar situations. Most said not only would they try to hide their mistakes, but they would likely not apologize to their patients.

Researchers claim a fear of medical malpractice lawsuits might be a driving force behind the reluctance of doctors to be forthright. Some are also reportedly motivated by inflated egos who would rather protect their own reputations than set the record straight regarding their errors. Many doctors supposedly try to blame others instead of coming forward to apologize for their mistakes.

Although not apologizing might be considered rude, an injured patient must have more evidence of injury to file a medical malpractice claim in a civil court. A personal injury attorney can investigate a particular incident and enlist the aid of third party testimonies to help substantiate a claim. Such testimony can confirm severity of injury and also establish that medical negligence was the cause of an injury. A successfully litigated claim in Kentucky may provide compensation that can be used to offset expenses and other monetary damages related to an injury. If a patient did not survive, an immediate family member may pursue the claim.

Source: statnews.com, "Medical culture encourages doctors to avoid admitting mistakes", Lawrence Schlachter, Accessed on Jan. 25, 2017

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