In New York, Affairs Qualify as Medical Malpractice

Post #3 image. 2013-01-03.jpgWhen a patient in Mississippi goes to see their doctor, the hope is that they will receive appropriate treatment for the condition that is ailing them. Everyone assumes that the doctor will behave professionally and do nothing to undermine the doctor-patient trust that exists with all good physicians. Sadly, this isn’t always the case.

Though many people may believe medical malpractice only exists when there has been incorrect treatment, inappropriate care, medical errors or mistakes, the Supreme Court of New York recently ruled that there are other scenarios where doctors can be found to have engaged in medical malpractice. Specifically, the New York High Court found that affairs between doctors and a patient could constitute medical malpractice.

The doctor at the center of the New York case had an affair with a married patient. The patient was under his direct care and he treated her for severe depression and anxiety issues. The jury found that the doctor had breached his professional duty of care by engaging in repeated sexual relationships with the woman. The jury did not believe the woman was blameless though, and found her responsible for 25% of the harm she suffered. The court ultimately awarded the woman $338,000 in damages.

The woman eventually came clean to her husband about the affair and her husband filed for divorce. In her suit against the doctor, the woman said that the affair was a result of the feelings she had for her therapist who acted unethically when he sexually exploited her in a moment of weakness.

All health care professionals, whether they are doctors, nurses, surgeons or pharmacists, have a responsibility to provide a reasonable standard of care. When they breach that duty and harm occurs to an innocent patient, that health care provider can be found negligent. A patient who has been harmed by such conduct can then recover damages from the physician. Patients can sue to recover medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, wages and pain and suffering.

Those who have suffered injuries at the hand of their doctor should be aware that legal remedies might be available to them. If you would like to speak with a Mississippi medical malpractice attorney about a potential medical malpractice claim, call Mississippi medical malpractice attorneys at Kobs & Philley today at (601) 863-8170.

Source: “This Doctor’s Love Affair Became Malpractice; Peer-Review Privacy; and More,” by Wayne J. Guglielmo, published at MedScape.com.

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