In today’s health care, there are laws set in place to protect the well-being and best interest of the patient. These laws range from tort laws, criminal laws, and contract laws. Although each of these laws are set in place to protect the patient to a certain degree of wrongdoing on the physicians and medical facilities part, they can be distinguished by which one affects health care professionals directly compared to indirectly. In this paper, I will discuss the Tort Law, the law that most directly influences Health Care Professionals.
Tort Law Defined
Tort Law can be defined as the civil wrongdoing against a person. Tort warrants claimants to seek restitution for their alleged disservice for bodily harm, effects, or character. In order to file a tort claim, the claim has to be factual or true by the party that suffered the disservice. Medical personnel and facilities can receive jail time and/or malpractice claims if found guilty of such negligence as described in the tort claim. According the Congressional Budget Office (2006), “The system has twin objectives: deterring negligent behavior on the part of providers and compensating claimants for losses (including medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering) they incur as the result of an injury that occurs because of negligence” (http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/71xx/doc7174/04-28-MedicalMalpractice.pdf ).
Torts can be divided into categories, such as negligence and intentional torts. Negligence is the most common tort claim filed towards health care professionals. Tort laws are set in place to recognize what can be defined as a legal injury and what criteria needs to be met in order to meet the requirements to claim that a wrong doing has been committed against the patient. For example, a patient presents to the hospital with chest pain. The doctor neglects to give the patient a cardiograph and sends the patient home. Later that night, the patient dies from cardiac arrest. Under this circumstance, the patients family can file a tort claim against the attending physician and medical facility for the negligence in performing proper test and following medical procedure which resulted in the death of their loved one. The tort can be claimed on the basis that if the physician had done the test, he may have discovered the patient’s progressive heart condition and the patient’s life could have been spared with proper treatment.
Negligent tort is a multi-dimensional category that can cover many injuries that result from careless and negligent care. Negligence covers the act of unintentionally giving or neglecting to give a person care that may cause injury to the person receiving/not receiving the care. Malpractice can arise when a medical professional shows disregard and negligence to the person receiving care, which results in damages to the individuals person, assets, or reputation. Tort laws are often seen as a means of retribution when a patient feels that a...