Sociological Data in Malpractice Lawsuits

Chapter

Abstract

Medical malpractice refers to professional negligence by act or omission by a healthcare provider in which the treatment provided falls below the accepted standard of medical practice and causes serious injury or death to the patient, with most cases involving medical error. An estimated 180,000–250,000 deaths from medical errors occur annually in the USA and more than 1,000,000 injuries are also caused by medical errors annually. In this chapter, the author shows the ways in which sociologists can assist both defense and plaintiff attorneys in some types of malpractice litigation since social, behavioral, cultural, socioeconomic status, demographic, and human factor issues are germane to certain aspects of medical malpractice. This chapter demonstrates the ways in which sociologists can help litigators analyze a possible breach in the standard of care, damages, and the proximate cause between the provider’s negligent acts and damage to the patient’s health.

Keywords

Fatigue Obesity Depression Smoke Trench 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.California State UniversityEast BayUSA

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