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Contributory Negligence from Patient

Contributory Negligence from Patient

Medical malpractice lawsuits are usually looked at from the side of the patient because if he or she is bringing the lawsuit then the doctor has performed some form of negligence. However, there are many viable medical mal practice defenses that can be sued in by a lawyer employed by a medical professional or entity to win the case. In some instances winning the case can be defined as limiting the financial and professional damage done to a doctor or hospital. In these cases, however, there is a certain element of negligence that needs to be admitted in open court. Though not all medical malpractice cases need to fall under this category the personal injury of a patient can be his or her own doing.

In cases where the patient can be faulted for personal injury the legal defense is referred to contributory negligence from a patient. When an operation is performed or prescription given there is a level of responsibility that falls onto the patient. There are a number of ways personal injury can occur that would not end up being the faulty of a doctor or hospital. Before any prescription or operation takes place a doctor asks the patient of their medical history. It is the patient’s duty to disclose their full medical history to the medical professionals who are working their case. 

If personal injury occurs because of the patient not fully disclosing their medical history, this would be a clear example of contributory negligence of a patient. The patient would be at fault because the harm done, while the doctor may have been negligent afterwards, initially was set in motion by the lack of information provided to the doctor. 

That is why in many instances doctors emphasis greatly the need for patients to fully disclose their medical history no matter how small an operation or an adverse reaction to a drug may have been. Such instances can have an effect on future treatment and if the doctor does not know how a person’s body has behaved to a certain medication, then he prescribes it in a higher dose causing harm to his or her patient, he would not be found liable in a court of law of being negligent. Another example of contributory negligence from a patient that is readily applied in the courtroom occurs after the operation. Once an operation is complete doctors give a set of rules to their patient expecting, in turn, the patient to follow the orders exactly. 

If personal injury occurs because the patient did not follow the orders exactly, it can even be a slight deviation, it would be considered contributory negligence from a patient. Infractions can be quite small. For example after surgery on the mouth doctors instruct smokers to not have a cigarette for a certain period of time, it depends on the extent of the surgery and doctors discretion. They say this to prevent against infection. If the patient even has one cigarette that would then contribute an infection the patient would be at fault and not the doctor, voiding the medical malpractice lawsuit brought on by the patient.

Medical malpractice lawsuits have two sides to them, while the patients side is usually highlighted the most the doctor’s side is equally important. Patients can easily contribute to their own personal injury by not disclosing their full medical history or not following doctor’s directions. In both cases this would end up being considered contributory negligence from a patient causing the malpractice lawsuit to be thrown out of court.