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Not All Surgical Problems are Cause for Calgary Medical Malpractice Suits

Posted in: Blog // Written on behalf of Cuming & Gillespie
September 8, 2015

Surgeries are complex medical procedures, and like all procedures they all carry some risk. The more invasive a surgery is, by and large, the greater the risks involved are, and though Calgary medical professionals do their best to find the best course of treatment with the lowest amount of risk sometimes surgery is the only viable option. This creates a situation where the cure has the potential to cause just as much harm as the disease or disorder, and such situations are not entered into lightly.

When a high- or even moderate-risk surgery is attempted, patients and their families are made aware of the potential dangers, and are also given an expected prognosis if the surgery is not performed—that is, the dangers of both the surgical and non-surgical options are explained, as are the potential rewards (positive outcomes) from each treatment option. This is a medical and legal concept known as “informed consent,” and stems from the belief that no one should be subjected to any course of medical treatment without being made aware of what they are risking.

Even with these safeguards and guidelines in place, it is a very human impulse to look for someone to blame when something goes wrong in a Calgary surgical operation. Serious complications resulting in further injury and even death can occur in many surgeries, and even when those dangers are known beforehand their realities are often shocking to patients, family, and friends. The desire to mount a medical malpractice case in these instances is quite common, and understandably so, but this impulse is often unjustified from a medical and legal perspective.

Medical Malpractice Depends on Egregious Error, Not Poor Outcomes

We always hope for the best possible outcome whenever we or a loved one undergoes any medical procedure, including surgery. Calgary’s surgeons, physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals hope for the same, but no outcome can ever be guaranteed. When a patient comes to added harm or even dies during or following a surgery that was properly performed, and where the risks were properly explained beforehand so as to obtain informed consent for the procedure, there is no grounds for a medical malpractice case because there was no serious error committed by the medical team.

It isn’t just the surgical outcome that matters, it’s the degree of competence, awareness, and adherence to accepted medical practice demonstrated by your Calgary medical professionals.

Limiting medical malpractice cases to those in which medical professionals made serious errors is good for the legal and medical systems here in Calgary. It prevents the courts from being clogged up with cases that don’t contribute to the public good, and more importantly it leaves medical professionals free to do their jobs without fear of reprisals when their best efforts produce less-than-hoped-for results.

It also leaves Calgary’s medical malpractice lawyers free to focus on those cases where egregious errors have occurred, which is good for all victims of medical malpractice in the Greater Calgary Area.

Contacting a Calgary Medical Malpractice Lawyer with Your Concerns

If you or a family member experienced an adverse response to a surgery in the Calgary area and you believe it may have been due to an error by a medical professional, it’s worth your while to contact a Calgary medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your case. We provide free initial consultations that can help you determine if you have grounds to bring a malpractice suit against the people and/or institutions involved—contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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