Nell Zhoie February 4, 2019

Losing a loved one is never an easy thing particularly when that loss can be avoided. In cases of medical negligence and malpractice, the living relatives and friends who lost a loved one often wonder why someone isn’t in jail for murder. So, is it possible for a medical expert to be charged with murder if the way they treated a patient was too poor and as a result, the patient died?

Well, from a technical standpoint, it is possible, but it rarely happens in Philadelphia. Most crimes, according to Cohen, Placitella and Roth, Attorneys at Law, need an element of intent. For instance, you must prove that the doctor intended to murder your loved one. In many cases, doctors and other medical practitioners don’t intend to kill a patient. That absents some unusual extenuating circumstance that can establish a motive. If THE intend isn’t present, then, many forms of murder might not apply.

However, it is possible for a doctor to commit a criminal homicide based on reckless choices and behavior. That means of the medical expert acted with such disregard for the patient’s safety that the patient suffered severe injuries or died, the doctor can be charged with specific types of criminal charges.

Note that all medical practitioners are highly trained professionals. They are regulated to prevent individuals with issues like drugs and substance abuse or mental disorders from harming their patients. These professionals are always under scrutiny and required to undergo regular education to ensure they don’t engage in treatment approaches that might imperil a patient’s life.

But medical malpractice is still an issue

Often, medical negligence or malpractice cases are handled as civil matters. This is because the doctor didn’t have requisite intent to murder the patient. Besides, the medical expert might face disciplinary proceedings against their license. In some cases, the doctor may be fired by the institution for which he or she has been working for.

That means the medical expert will be judged, lose his or her professional license, and probably employment. Note that the loss of a patient due to negligent acts on the part of the medical expert should not be taken lightly.

In some cases, it is safe to say that the medical expert acted so poorly that their reckless choices and behavior was criminal. For instance, if a doctor issue medication to a patient in doses that they already know or should know, can be dangerous, this could be seen as a criminal act.

If you know very well that you lost a loved one because of negligent actions and choices of a medical practitioner, contact a lawyer who can help you figure out your legal options. If the lawyer established that the medical practitioner’s acts were inappropriate to the point that he or she could be charged with criminal acts, the attorney could guide on the steps you are supposed to take to file a police report.