Medical Malpractice vs Medical Battery
Medical malpractice covers a wide range of cases in which a healthcare professional or facility may be deemed negligent, resulting in harm to a patient or even death. This could include instances of:
- Delayed diagnosis
- Failure to treat
- Surgical error
- Drug error
- Birth injury
- Improper aftercare
- and more
Medical battery is something different. You may be familiar with the term “assault and battery,” pertaining to criminal acts by one party that may inflict physical harm on another person (assault) or do inflict physical harm on another person (battery). Essentially, assault is attempted battery.
Medical battery is similar to battery, but the harm occurs in a medical setting and includes harmful or offensive touching of a patient by a medical professional. When such instances occur, you’ll need an experienced legal team on your side, like the seasoned professionals at The Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq., to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your trauma.
Example of Medical Battery
While medical malpractice is a pretty large umbrella that covers all kinds of negligence, the medical battery is more specific. There are three main types of cases that fall under the heading of medical battery, including:
- Performing a medical procedure different than the one the patient consented to
- Ignoring conditional consent, in which a patient consents to a procedure only if specific conditions exist, but medical providers proceed without specified conditions being met.
- Performing a medical procedure without patient consent (excluding emergency procedures to prevent harm or save a patient’s life)
One example of medical battery could be a doctor removing the wrong organ during a surgical procedure. Or, perhaps a patient consents to have an organ removed if it is damaged, but upon finding no damage, the doctor proceeds to remove the organ anyway. The least likely is that a doctor performs a medical procedure with no patient consent when no medical emergency exists, but it does happen.
Proving Medical Battery
What separates medical battery from medical malpractice is that negligence often occurs with no intent to do harm. Malpractice could be as simple as writing the wrong prescription or as significant as misdiagnosing a serious condition and failing to treat a patient properly. Still, it is characterized by acts of negligence or omission.
Medical battery cases, on the other hand, hang largely on proving intent, insomuch as the healthcare professional knew what they did was wrong, but they went ahead and did it anyway. In addition, you’ll have to prove:
- Actual cause
- Proximate (legal) cause
- Physical contact/touching
- Harm or offense to the patient, caused by a medical professional
It’s important to understand that actual harm is not necessary to pursue a medical battery case. For example, it may be that a patient enjoys better health following, say, an organ removal that wasn’t consented to. However, if the patient did not consent, conditional consent was not met, and/or no emergency prompted the procedure, the medical battery still occurred.
Contact a Medical Battery Lawyer Today!
Like medical malpractice, medical battery isn’t always easy to prove. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue compensation when such instances occur.
The expert attorneys at The Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq. have the knowledge and experience to help you secure maximum compensation when medical battery occurs. Contact us now at 310-289-2600 or online to schedule your free initial consultation.