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Patient abandonment is a type of medical malpractice

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2024 | Doctor Errors, Hospital Errors, Medical Malpractice, Medical Negligence

Patient abandonment is a serious kind of medical malpractice that happens when a healthcare professional ends the doctor-patient relationship without reasonable notice or a suitable alternative for care. This abrupt termination of care can lead to the worsening of the patient’s condition and cause unnecessary harm. Abandonment is generally considered a breach of the provider’s ethical duty of care.

Types of patient abandonment

Patient abandonment can take many forms. Here are five examples:

  1. Premature discharge: Discharging a patient from the hospital before they are medically stable enough to leave.
  2. Failure to attend: This involves not attending scheduled appointments or surgeries without a valid reason or prior notice.
  3. Neglect in nursing homes: Ignoring the needs of a resident in a nursing home, which leads to physical or emotional harm.
  4. Refusal of treatment: This involves refusing to treat a patient when they are in immediate need, and no other healthcare provider is available.
  5. Lack of follow-up: Failing to provide necessary follow-up care or instructions after a procedure or treatment.

Proving patient abandonment in a lawsuit

To prove patient abandonment in a medical malpractice lawsuit, the plaintiff must establish these four elements:

  1. Existence of a doctor-patient relationship.
  2. The healthcare provider terminated the relationship without good reason or adequate notice.
  3. The patient needed medical attention at the time.
  4. The patient endured harm as a direct result of the abandonment.

If these elements are proven, the victim and their family may be entitled to damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and more.

Seek legal help

If you believe you’ve been a victim of patient abandonment, it’s crucial to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. They can help victims and families understand their rights, gather necessary evidence, and guide clients through the legal process.

Remember, patient abandonment is a serious issue and should not be taken lightly. Advocate for your rights and seek the justice you deserve.