Who Is Responsible When Surgery Goes Wrong

By September 13, 2018Malpractice

When surgery goes wrong you may not know who should be held accountable. It’s common for surgeries to not goes as planned since the medical field in itself is an imprecise art. And when an honest mistake happens or medical negligence takes place, it may be unclear who to hold responsible. It is thought by some medical experts that a medical error is the third biggest killer in the United States. In the United Kingdom, about 1 out of 6 patients receives an incorrect diagnosis. These are troubling numbers and are sure to make you question the field of medicine

Artificial intelligence brings hope for the future in being able to limit medical errors in the field. The John Rafcliffe Hospital in Oxford for example has developed an artificial intelligence system that can outperform cardiologists. This has the potential to limit mistakes, but won’t be fool proof by any means. Artificial intelligence, if successful will be free to hospitals in the UK. This technology can readily identify heart-attack risk, strokes, skin cancer, eye conditions and even lung cancer.

But what some people don’t consider is that AI will still fail. It becomes even harder to determine who to blame when a machine fails at a surgery. Both ethical and legal responsibility is necessary for patients to trust the professionals that carry out these difficult surgeries. Patients need to know they can be compensated when medical errors do occur. With liability is the hope that surgeons won’t take extra risks or do things they wouldn’t ordinarily do in their practice.

Patients and safety should always come first in the medical field. But artificial intelligence hasn’t gone far enough yet to be the overall answer for medical needs. Doctors and surgeons are still seen as the specialists with the knowledge to make decisions. Physicians remain liable in most cases when artificial intelligence or technology goes wrong.

The most common scenario is when the physician acted as any other reasonable physician when carrying out their duties. This is referred to as standard of care and is what any reasonable doctor would be expected to do. If a doctor doesn’t follow this then they will have to explain their decision. This goes as far as if a patient is prescribed an antibiotic after artificial intelligence diagnoses them with something that needs treatment. But then the patient ends up being allergic to the antibiotic, that’s on the doctor. The best way AI can be used by physicians is to consider the information from the source but not use it as the end all be all to treat the patient.

Now that you know about artificial intelligence and its impact on the field you may be wondering if a physician, doctor or surgeon treated you improperly. The only way to determine if you deserve compensation is to speak with an attorney, especially one that specializes in medical malpractice. You have come to the right place if you need to talk to an attorney about a case. The Davis Kelin Law Firm handles these cases on a daily basis. If your surgery went wrong and you want to hold that party accountable, feel free to reach out to us at (505)242-7200. The Davis Kelin Law Firm will have somebody take down the details of your case and pass it along to the attorneys.

Tyler Harrison

Author Tyler Harrison

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