Lawyer, Kuukua Legal Consulting, Leslie Fiadoyor, has discussed what the law says about medical negligence.
Talking about negligence in general of which medical negligence is part, he stated that it refers to belonging to a certain profession or expertise, where there’s a certain standard that is set for you and that standard is always expected of you.
Explaining further to Sefah-Danquah on e.tv ‘Ghana’s Men’s Lounge’, he said, “So in the case of a reasonable doctor, you need to know what a reasonable doctor will do in a particular situation. So, if a reasonable doctor will do XYZ and you do ABC, clearly, you’re falling below what a reasonable doctor will do. If this failure to adhere to XYZ because you did ABC results to some form of injury, then you have what we call medical negligence.”
He however noted that per the law, medical practitioners owe their patients a duty of care, just by being a medical practitioner of which they have standards and anyone who falls below that standard they say has breached that duty of care.
“So, every hospital or caretaker of a hospital owes the patient a duty of care which has to be established but also, your patient should have suffered from some form of damage in order for this to happen. Damage without the ‘s’ to a lawyer is a type of injury that is suffered and death is a type of injury, bodily harm is a type of injury so if all these are met then, the affected person can sue for damages,” he said.
As lawyers, they believe the ‘s’ makes the difference so the damage without the ‘s’ is a type of injury and any not with the s is known as monetary compensation that the law would give you for the breech for the duty of care that the medical practitioner owes you.
“So, the whole idea behind medical negligence is that we’re just telling everybody that if you claim you are an expert at something or you belong to a certain field of practice like medicine, then you should always act like a reasonable doctor will act. If you don’t do so and go contrary to the established standards and neglect your responsibility which leads to some form of injury, then we say that you have been negligent medically and in that case as a patient you have grounds to take the facility or individual on,” he mentioned.
He made it known that not only the person who suffered damages can take the hospital or individual on, but also, persons who are considered to be close in proximity of relationship can also start the required action be it parent, husband, spouse or anyone else who is closely related to the victim.
“Also in the event of death then, your next of kin or whoever it is can also sue with respect to medical negligence and get the needed compensation they deserve,” he asserted.