What qualifies as medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice is a cause of action related to negligence in providing health care. While outcomes are not always guaranteed — for instance, some surgeries are known to be risky and may result in complications — malpractice occurs when a doctor fails to perform to the standards of his or her profession. A doctor who leaves a scalpel inside a patient may be sued for malpractice, for example.
Other examples of medical malpractice include misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose, surgical errors, prescription dosage errors, birth defects, and substandard care which causes numerous fatalities each year. According to studies conducted by the Institute of Medicine, one in five medical errors are potentially serious or fatal.