Medical malpractice is a common fear of many in the medical profession. While the line between what is and isn’t medical malpractice can be hazy, who can commit malpractice is also worth examining.
The most obvious answer to who can commit malpractice is people practicing medicine on a patient. Health care professionals who can be accused of malpractice include:
In short, anyone who came into contact with the patient and harmed them is liable. This personal responsibility may include failing to diagnose, treat, or act on an illness or medical condition that is affecting the patient.
Hospitals are a legal entity and they can be either directly or indirectly responsible for committing medical malpractice. If the hospital itself is neglectful, they have directly committed medical malpractice. If an employee is negligent, the hospital may be indirectly found responsible for the malpractice.
A hospital can be directly negligent if it hires an employee but fails to properly conduct a background check on an applicant’s qualifications. A hospital is also negligent if it allows an attending physician to practice without checking them beforehand or if it allows a doctor to practice when the hospital knows or should have known that the doctor was not competent.
If a patient is injured as a result of the hospital’s negligence, then the hospital can be found liable for medical malpractice. Additionally, if a hospital employee acts negligently, they can also be found liable for malpractice as the superior of that employee.
In some special cases, pharmaceutical companies can be found liable for committing medical malpractice. While they are typically shielded from liability by their relationship with physicians, if the manufacturer does not adequately inform the physician of the side effects or other aspects of the medication, they may be liable for malpractice.
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