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Negligence Case

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Negligence Paper

Safe health care is the ethical and legal goal of all health professionals. When there is an error in the delivery of safe and adequate health care legal implications are present. An injury may occur to the body or may result in a financial injury depending on the original cause. Tort laws basis revolves around fault and will not vary with the type of injury. Negligence, gross negligence, and malpractice are terms well-known to professional health care providers. The article in the Neighborhood News will assist to identify the meanings of these terms as they relate to care of the client.

The Neighborhood News articles brings attention to Mr. Benson's scheduling for a below the knee amputation of his left leg. Poor circulation and a long history of diabetes mellitus is a contributing factor for the procedure (University of Phoenix, 2013). Uncontrolled or poor compliant diabetic patients have a high risk for amputations of extremities related to years of elevated blood glucose levels and the results that occur from the diabetes. Unfortunately for Mr. Benson, the wrong extremity is amputated. This mistake will affect the stakeholders caring for Mr. Benson. Differentiating between negligence, gross negligence, and malpractice in this mishap is the next step taken.

Negligence is a vague term that implicates a lack of care. Carelessness and disrespect for the safety and outcomes of a person, relating to lapses in a known standard of care that a reasonable person would undertake in specific situations constitutes negligence. Intentional harm is not intended; factors such as diminished knowledge in the appropriate care, and poor decision making or judgment may contribute to the negligent act. Negligence is not strictly related to health care, malpractice is the legal term when it is a health care issue regarding negligence (Guido, 2010).

A total disregard for the safety of another person, failure to administer reasonable care within the standards of care, failure in using caution when caring for another person all resulting in extreme harm to an individual is known as gross negligence. Gross negligence may be proven with circumstantial evidence (Quick, 2006).

Malpractice, according to Guido (2010), "sometimes referred as professional negligence, is a more specific term that addresses a professional standard of care as well as the professional status of the care giver" (p. 93). The term malpractice implies that the professional health provider is not behaving according to the standard set forth of their profession. This professional is cannot recognize potential consequences that another professional with the same education, training, and skill base would foresee.

Allegations of malpractice or negligence must prove six elements to demonstrate liability of the defending persons. Guido (2010) describes them as elements of damage, injury, duty owed the patient, breach of duty owed the patient, causation, and forseeability. These elements are necessary and are the responsibility of the person making the allegations against the professional. The damages refer to a compensatory component that may assist an individual to his original status prior to injury incurred in a financial means. The injury is the direct result of the negligence or omission of an action. The duty owed and the breach of the duty is concerning the professional's lack of monitoring the patient and the failure to report to the appropriate person changes in patient status or any changes that may affect a patients outcomes. Health care providers will monitor the professional behaviors of peers. Failure to report alterations in their behavior that may lead to injury or negative patient outcomes is foreseeability. Other professional must have the ability to assess situations and report peers to the appropriate person when they stray from the standards of patient care. Causation is sometimes difficult to prove during legal investigations. The injury to the patient



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