What’s the first thing that comes to your head whenever you hear the words “medical malpractice”? Let me guess, it’s probably one of the following: a surgical mistake, a botched plastic surgery, prescribing the wrong medication, or failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis.
But did you know that you may be able to sue your doctor for medical malpractice for his or her “unethical behavior”? So if a doctor does not treat you with respect, abuses you, makes fun of you, insults you, shows little to no empathy whatsoever, or communicates with you in a patronizing manner, you may be entitled to financial compensation under the legal theory of medical malpractice.
“Wait, so does it mean that you can actually sue your physician, doctor, nurse, or another medical professional even if his or her behavior had nothing to do with the physiological aspects of the medical treatment?” you may be wondering. “Exactly,” answers our Philadelphia unethical behavior attorney from The Weitz Firm, LLC. “In fact, you may be able to sue your doctor for unethical behavior even if your doctor did not expect you to hear him or her say the inappropriate or offensive things about you.”
This was evident from a 2015 medical malpractice case, in which a patient inadvertently left his smartphone on record before his anesthesiologist sedated him prior to the surgery. In the recording, the anesthesiologist could be overheard making defamatory comments and cruel jokes as well as verbally disparaging the patient.
The patient filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the anesthesiologist, and a jury ruled that the behavior of the anesthesiologist and other members of hospital staff rose to the level of “medical malpractice” and even defamation. As a result, the jury awarded $500,000 to the patient who became a victim of unethical, unprofessional, inappropriate, and unacceptable behavior from the doctors.
However, suing your doctor for unethical behavior or inappropriate conduct may be tricky, because you did not suffer physical harm as a result of that behavior. That is why seeking legal help from an experienced unethical behavior attorney in Philadelphia or elsewhere in Pennsylvania is highly advised to pursue compensation.
If your doctor’s unethical behavior was an isolated incident, but you are concerned that this problem might repeat, you may want to talk to other members of hospital staff (for example, a nurse or another doctor). That member may then communicate your concern to the doctor who offended you.
If you were deeply offended by the situation and do not want to see that doctor again, let alone be treated by him or her, terminating the physician-patient relationship will be the right thing to do to deal with the offensive or disrespectful doctor.
“However, you may want to take legal action against that unethical doctor if the insult or inappropriate behavior was directed at you because of your gender, race, skin color, sexual orientation, age, religion, or any other characteristic protected by anti-discrimination laws,” advises our Philadelphia unethical conduct lawyer. “If that’s the case, contact the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to file a complaint.”
Unethical behavior on the part of doctors can go well beyond insults, verbal abuse and cruel jokes. You may be able to sue your doctor and his or her hospital if you have become a victim of illegal or unethical billing practices, including fraudulent billing for medical services that were not necessary or you did not receive. Speak to a medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your particular case. Get a free consultation by contacting The Weitz Firm, LLC. Call our offices at 267-587-6240.