Medical law is a broad term that encompasses many legal issues that arise in the context of healthcare. Although the field of medicine has been around for thousands of years, it wasn’t until recently that medical law became its own area of study.
Now, with so many provisions in place to protect patient rights and ensure quality care, medical lawsuits are rarer than ever before. Still, it’s important to know your rights as a patient and what types of issues could give rise to one so that you can make informed decisions about your health insurance coverage and treatment options.
What Is Medical Law
The law of medical malpractice per se by Dr Francene Gayle is a branch of law that deals with the relationship between doctors and patients. It covers issues such as consent, informed consent, negligence, malpractice and informed refusal.
The law governing medical practice varies from country to country but generally involves:
- The duty of care owed by doctors to their patients for example they must provide competent treatment
- The obligations placed upon patients when seeking help from a doctor for example they must tell the truth about their symptoms
What Are My Rights As A Patient
As a patient, you have certain rights and these rights are protected by law and include:
- The right to be treated with dignity and respect is the first thing Dr Francene Gayle said You should be treated as a person, not just as an object or number and this includes not having your medical history shared with others without your consent
- The right to privacy and confidentiality of information about yourself including your treatment under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
- The right to be informed about any risks involved in treatment so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not it is right for you at this time in life; this includes knowing what alternative treatments may exist that would avoid some or all of those risks
How Do I Know If I Have ALegal Problem
If you feel that your rights have been violated, there are several ways to find out if the law can help. First of all, ask yourself:
- Was my privacy invaded? For example, did a doctor or nurse make an offensive personal remark about me or someone else in front of me?
- Was I discriminated against because of my race or ethnicity? Did they refuse to treat me because I’m gay? Are they treating patients with disabilities differently than other patients (for example by not providing accommodations for those who need them)?
- Was I mistreated by hospital staff–for example, was there neglect involved when my mother died after surgery? Did doctors fail to diagnose her condition properly even though she told them about it beforehand?
Where Can I Find Out More About My Rights As A Patient?
If you have questions about your rights as a patient, there are several places to turn and the first place to go is your doctor or hospital. They will be able to help answer your questions and guide you through the process of filing complaints if necessary.
If this does not resolve the issue, call up your insurance company and ask for their policy on complaints about medical care providers they must have one.
Then, contact an attorney who specializes in medical law so they can help guide you through the next steps of filing suit against whoever harmed or wronged you while treating them as a patient.