In recent days, the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray, the former personal doctor of pop star Michael Jackson, has been the topic of much attention and conversation across the country. Medical malpractice attorneys note that the case revolves around one question; did the doctor’s conduct surpass mere medical negligence?
Generally, when a doctor commits an act of negligence, lawyers will file a lawsuit as a civil case. In civil cases, plaintiffs seek to be compensated for a wrong committed by a doctor, but there is no risk of facing jail time. In cases of egregious medical errors, district attorneys have the authority to file criminal charges against the healthcare provider.
What is the Standard of Care
The standard of care can be understood as the requirement that a doctor act responsibly and cautiously in order to avoid any harm to their patients. Across this country, states have different statutes and codes which define what constitutes medical malpractice. In order for a doctor to be charged in a criminal case, as opposed to the more common civil malpractice cases, he or she must grossly breach their standard of care. In order to achieve a conviction, prosecutors must prove criminal negligence or provide evidence that the doctor put himself in to a position that other doctors would have avoided. Julie Cantor, an attorney with a medical degree and a professor at UCLA School of Law, described the realm of criminal charges following medical malpractice as “a gross incompetence or indifference to a patient’s well being.”
Medical Malpractice Attorneys in New Jersey and Philadelphia
If you or a family member have recently been the victim of medical negligence, it is possible that you would like to speak with our professionals. Please contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation, or call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.