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Medical Malpractice Law and Racial Divide: Here is All You Need to Know

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.

How To Choose A Credible Medical Malpractice Lawyer In Philly?

Choosing a credible medical malpractice lawyer Philly can be truly overwhelming, especially if you or a loved one is still under recovery after a serious case of medical malpractice. A medical malpractice case is quite different from a personal injury case much complicated and would need an experienced lawyer that handled mostly medical malpractice lawsuits. So, how can you find a suitable lawyer to help you resolve this problem?

Quick Steps To Direct You To The Right Medical Malpractice Attorney Philly:

Step #1 – Ask referrals from a trusted individual

This is your initial task to help you locate a qualified medical malpractice lawyer ask referrals from a trusted individual like a general lawyer who happens to be connected with a lawyer expert in medical malpractice. You can also ask friends, relatives, or colleagues at work that have used the services of a medical malpractice legal representative.

Step #2 – Contact your local bar association                                 

If you haven’t been successful getting referrals, the next step that I’m sure will lead you to a good number of accredited lawyers practicing in medical malpractice is by contacting your local bar association. I’m sure most bar associations have a compilation of members with their corresponding specializations.

Step #3 – Do online research      

Yes, this is indeed a true source of relevant information, online research. In fact, you don’t even need to go out to get a list of medical malpractice lawyers. You can do the online research right in the comforts of your home or wherever you are at the moment. Just one piece of advice when doing online research, try to be more specific with your search. For example, if you live in Philadelphia and your medical malpractice case happened at this location, then, better type relevant keywords like “medical malpractice lawyer Philly” or “medical malpractice attorney Philly” and Google will provide you a list of candidates that match your preferences. Be sure to narrow your list to what you really need and give them a quick call to verify if they can help you with your case.

Step #4 – Ask relevant questions

Once you have gathered enough names of legal representatives with specialization in medical malpractice, book a private consultation. See to it when you arrive at the meeting venue that you have prepared a list of relevant questions that will help you check if the lawyer is the right one for your case. Here are some of the common questions that every client with a medical malpractice case can ask a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Philadelphia:

  • How long have you been handling medical malpractice cases?
  • What is the percentage of won cases?
  • Where most of the cases settled?

Your potential medical malpractice attorney must be confident in answering these questions and be willing to show proofs of satisfied clients who have received huge settlements.

Step #5 – Trust your innermost feelings

Lastly, the success of your medical malpractice case will not only be dependent on how good and efficient is your hired medical malpractice lawyer Philly, but also on other external factors like your rapport with this professional. If your innermost feelings tell you that this legal representative is a good fit for this complicated case and seems very sensitive to your needs, then, finalize your intention to contact his or her services.

Lawyers have different specializations and unique in their own ways. You might come across a very strict lawyer or find someone that can make you feel comfortable sharing your fears. When you are having a hard time deciding which one to hire to handle your medical malpractice case, go over the steps above and apply them when making a final selection. After all, at the end of the day, you will have to make a decision to avoid delays in the processing of your medical malpractice case.