Does Sexual Misconduct Fall Under Medical Malpractice?
Posted in Medical Malpractice on March 2, 2021
We trust doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers to provide competent, respectful, and well-informed care. Unfortunately, some medical providers fail to uphold this standard of care, engaging in inappropriate sexual conduct with patients who trust them.
Sexual misconduct by any medical professional falls under medical malpractice. If you have experienced sexual misconduct while receiving medical care, you have the right to hold the healthcare worker accountable through a medical malpractice lawsuit.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional causes injury to a patient through a negligent act or omission. Healthcare workers must uphold certain standards of care when treating patients, and any deviation from the standard of care can lead to malpractice.
Common examples of medical malpractice include the following.
- Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose
- Wrong site surgery and other surgical errors
- Failure to order proper testing
- Failure to explain or provide test results
- Prescribing the wrong medication or dosage
- Administering the wrong amount or type of anesthesia
- Improper follow-up or aftercare instructions
Sexual Misconduct and Medical Malpractice
Many people associate medical malpractice with carelessness while providing treatment to patients. However, inappropriate behavior, including sexual misconduct, also falls under this type of negligence. In the context of medical malpractice, sexual misconduct refers to any non-consensual sexual contact that a medical professional initiates with a patient.
Sexual misconduct can involve many acts, including the following.
- Performing unnecessary physical exams
- Making sexual comments to a patient
- Making inappropriate or offensive remarks about a patient’s sexual history or sexual orientation
- Inappropriate touching unrelated to a medical exam, such as an extended touch or touching areas of the body that are not under examination
- Asking invasive questions about a patient’s sexual history that are unrelated to his or her medical care
Filing a Sexual Misconduct Medical Malpractice Claim
It is never appropriate for a healthcare worker to breach his or her position of trust and have a sexual relationship with a patient. If you have been the victim of sexual misconduct while receiving medical care, you are not alone and you have the right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the at-fault professional.
In your medical malpractice claim, you will need to prove that the medical professional’s actions deviated from what a reasonably prudent and similarly trained healthcare provider would have done under the same circumstances. Specifically, you will need to provide evidence to support the following four facts.
- The medical professional owed you a duty of care. All healthcare workers who treat patients in a professional capacity owe a duty of care.
- The medical professional breached his or her duty of care by engaging in sexual misconduct.
- The breach of duty directly caused your injuries. In medical malpractice claims, physical harm is not the only type of injury you can suffer—psychological trauma is also an injury.
- You suffered losses, known as damages, that you can collect in your lawsuit. Common damages include additional medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If you experienced sexual misconduct at the hands of a medical professional, you deserve justice. Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against him or her can help you recover compensation for the losses you suffered due to this act of violence.
In these situations, contact a Kansas City medical malpractice attorney to discuss your case. Your lawyer can help you gather evidence, file paperwork, and advocate for your maximum recovery during each stage of litigation.