Medical Malpractice Law and Racial Divide: Here is All You Need to Know
Is it true that the color of your skin influences the quality of medical treatment you get, the probability of a good result, or the possibility of medical malpractice? Faced with such scenarios, you might anticipate taking recourse to medical malpractice law.
We provide you with a comprehensive guide for coping with any medical negligence faced due to racial discrimination.
Unfortunately, many recent studies show that unconscious racial prejudice exists in medicine, just as it does in other fields. This is not to suggest that the medical system is plagued with racists, but it does show that there are inequalities in medical care and treatment among black and white Americans. Years of polls, reports, and research on racial prejudice in medicine were recounted in a recent New York Times article. These studies usually used a mix of vignettes containing particular patient care situations and answers to the Implicit Association Test, an evaluation intended to detect unconscious racial prejudices. Whenever it concerns health care, the findings show significant disparities across races:
- A 2017 meta-analysis of nine additional research published in Academic Emergency Medicine indicated an implicit racial preference for white patients in most of those studies, especially among white doctors. Two investigations discovered a connection between this prejudice and clinical decision-making. One research indicated that racial bias was linked with a higher likelihood of whites receiving treatment for myocardial infarctions than African Americans.
- A 2014 study of 543 internal medicine and family medicine physicians inquired about the medical cooperation of patients with severe osteoarthritis and if they would suggest a complete knee replacement. The physicians polled indicated that they thought white patients were more medically cooperative than African American patients, but this did not alter their treatment recommendations.
As the author of the Times story puts it, the extent of the issue is as follows:
A substantial body of research demonstrates that African American patients are handled differently than white patients during cardiovascular operations. In terms of cancer diagnosis and treatment, there were disparities in whether they got optimum care. When African Americans were infected with H.I.V., they were less likely to get adequate treatment. They were far more prone to suffer from these diseases, even after controlling for age, gender, insurance, education, and disease severity. There were disparities for diabetes, renal illness, mental health issues, children, and even pregnancy.
Medical Malpractice on Implicit Bias:
Implicit bias may be blamed for many of the differences. Implicit bias refers to attitudes or preconceptions that influence our behaviors and understandings subconsciously. Researchers examining implicit prejudice discovered a substantial implicit preference for white Americans over black Americans among doctors of all racial and ethnic groups except black physicians. This unconscious prejudice is thought to have an effect on minority patients’ medical care.
Medical misdiagnosis happens when a healthcare practitioner delays, totally miss or incorrectly diagnoses a patient. Medical misdiagnosis is the third largest cause of mortality and a frequent kind of medical mistake. We’ve looked at how gender affects the incidence of medical error, but can a patient’s race or ethnicity influence a correct diagnosis? Several studies have shown that minorities are far more likely than whites to be mistaken for various illnesses.
According to a Johns Hopkins research, minorities presented to an emergency department with neurological issues were substantially (20-30%) more misdiagnosed. Patients of color who have chest discomfort are also less referred for advanced cardiac treatment. Furthermore, minorities are often misdiagnosed with mental disorders. There is also an indication that non-white people are less likely than white people to be acknowledged when reporting pain symptoms and getting less appropriate pain treatment.
Disparities in Care:
Implicit racial prejudice may cause a health care professional to dismiss a patient’s concerns. A seminal 2003 research discovered that minorities get fewer operations, diagnostic testing, and lower-quality medical care than whites. This remained true even after changes for the type of healthcare institution and insurance were applied. Minorities suffered worse than whites in terms of medical outcomes as a consequence of poor treatment. Issues haven’t gotten any better. Minorities continue to have a higher risk of poor healthcare outcomes.
Racially prejudiced care of patients may result in medical mistakes and failure to treat medical problems appropriately. Health care providers must adhere to the proper level of care regardless of a patient’s race or ethnicity. Failure to do so may constitute medical malpractice, which should not be allowed. The color of your skin or that of your doctor – should not influence the quality of your treatment. Every physician and health care professional has a legal and ethical obligation to treat every patient with the same level of care. When a doctor violates that responsibility and a patient is injured, has adverse health effects, or dies. As a result, the doctor may and should be held responsible in a medical negligence case.
When to Seek a Medical Malpractice Lawyer?
Medical malpractice cases combine two fields of knowledge: law and medicine. These matters are inherently complicated, requiring the attention and expertise of a lawyer who is knowledgeable in both areas. You must choose a lawyer who is:
- Well-versed in a variety of medical conditions
- Capable of navigating complicated medical records
- Understands which specialists to consult
- Aware of which questions to ask
- Can foresee the methods that the defendant’s attorneys will use
Furthermore, you will need the assistance of a law firm with the means to take on big hospitals and insurance companies. You need to ensure that your lawyer is well prepared to handle almost every medical negligence case in which lawyers can:
- Assist you in determining if you have a claim for compensation via a free case assessment
- Gather and analyze facts based on medical malpractice law to justify your argument.
- Determine the entire extent of your short- and long-term losses.
- Identify who is responsible for your losses.
- Explain your legal rights adequately and keep you updated throughout the process
- Oversee a complicated legal procedure
- Fight hard to get the best possible outcome in your case.
A medical negligence lawsuit is usually brought soon after a patient has been injured due to a medical professional’s treatment. Such cases will differ depending on the kind and degree of the damage, but all medical malpractice actions seek substantial financial recompense for affected individuals. To get monetary compensation for an injury caused by medical negligence, a patient’s attorney must demonstrate that medical malpractice caused the damage. The attorney does so by fulfilling the requirements outlined above.
If you believe that you have been a victim of medical negligence based on the color of your skin or otherwise, Philadelphia injury lawyers are there to help you choose the best course of action. Contact us for a free consultation.