Being honest, transparent, and accountable for a medical mistake might be the ethical approach – in fact, this behavior is encouraged by the Code of Medical Ethics, the American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Unfortunately, not all physicians follow this ethical guideline. Even more concerning the data from a recent study, which revealed that more doctors are willing to cover up a mistake. Why is this becoming a trend, and what does it mean for some of the most vulnerable members of society? The following explains further, and provides some important information for victims of medical error.
Nearly One-Fourth of Doctors Willing to Cover Up a Mistake
More than 7,500 doctors from over 25 specialties were asked one simple question: is it ever okay to cover up a medical mistake. The majority of doctors said no (78 percent), which is a good thing, but seven percent said they would most definitely cover up an error. Another 14 percent said “it depends.” Their stance was often based on the level of harm that the patient had or could experience. This was across all specialties, which includes doctors who treat some of society's most vulnerable members.
Vulnerable Patients and Medical Errors
Harm is always harm, no matter who it happens to, but some patients are more vulnerable than others. The elderly, children, and those with compromised health are often of the greatest concern. Not only are they more likely to experience serious injury or death when a mistake happens, they are also less likely to recover fully from an injury. Quality of life is also more likely to be impacted or greatly reduced for these vulnerable people. In short, pediatricians, general care practitioners, and other specialists that may care for compromised individuals have a higher risk of causing extreme harm to their patients.
When Medical Harm Happens to Innocent Patients
All patients have the right to expect that their doctor will act with integrity, and that any harm they caused will be disclosed. Yet this is not always the case, which is why victims need an advocate willing to protect their rights and fight for justice. They deserve compassion, care, dedication, and full and fair compensation for any losses that they or their families have experienced. They deserve justice.
At Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C., we are honored to be that advocate for innocent patients who have been harmed by medical negligence. We serve the best interests of our clients, every step of the way, and we fight aggressively to help them get the compensation that they deserve. Learn more about how our Chicago medical negligence attorneys can help with your case. Call [[phone]] and schedule your consultation with us today.