Article Analysis: Negligence In Healthcare

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Negligence Kei'Shia C. Bowers HCS/478 May 21, 2012 Barbara Scheibe Negligence As a healthcare provider or patient there are certain terms that can send chills down your spine. As a healthcare provider the some words can implicate career ending actions and as a patient, those same terms can mean that something inappropriate and terrible has gone wrong. Those three words are negligence, gross-negligence and malpractice. It is the goal of every facility that provides healthcare to avoid the kind of mistakes that cause life-changing occurrences in the lives of their patients and families. The article in The Neighborhood newspaper focuses on Mr. Benson, 62-year-old male patient who underwent a below the knee amputation of his lower…show more content…
Guido (2010), negligence is defined as “a general term that denotes conduct lacking in due care” (p. 92). Carelessness and disregard for another person’s safety and causing harm at the hands of the offending person characterizes negligence. Negligence does not imply intentional harm, in fact negligence can be the result of a lack of knowledge, lack of care or from demonstrating and acting in poor judgment. Negligence is not isolated to healthcare providers, as this is the difference between negligence and malpractice. The extreme of negligence, then, is gross-negligence. In other words, gross-negligence is complete and total disregard for the other person’s safety, failure to use caution, failure to provide reasonable care and has the potential to cause great harm to that person (Guido, 2010). An example of gross-negligence would be a surgeon reporting to work under the influence of alcohol or a school bus driver reporting to work under the influence of…show more content…
Benson as negligence. Keeping in mind the definitions of negligence, gross-negligence and malpractice, I would have to argue that Mr. Benson’s case is one of malpractice. The defining fact that Mr. Benson was injured at the hands of a medical professional makes this an issue of malpractice rather than negligence. Mr. Benson’s injury was a direct result of a medical professional failing to act in “accordance with the prevailing professional standards” (Guido, p.93). The circumstances surrounding how the incorrect extremity was amputated was not clearly identified, but the doctrine of res ipsa loquitor – “the thing speaks for itself” – can be applied in this instance (Guido, 2010). It is standard protocol and best practice to identify the operative site prior to surgery. “To the extent possible, the patient (or legally designated representative) should be involved in the process” (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 2012). Mr. Benson was not able to confirm of negate that this procedure took place prior to his operation because he was under anesthesia, but it can be implied as it is obvious that the wrong leg was

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