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Medical malpractice: Hospice care concerns

Your family members may require hospice care as they reach the end of their lives. You may not expect that medical malpractice exists for hospice patients due to the sensitive nature of the type of care, and the fact that patients are terminally ill. However, this is not necessarily the case. Hospice nurses, like any other medical professional, may fail in giving the proper standard of care and cause unnecessary harm to you or your family member.

In-home health care providers often receive the contracts for hospice work. These providers still must follow standards and protocols that apply when a person is in a hospital or nursing home. Your family member has the right to safe, effective and humane treatment as a hospice patient. There are several types of medical malpractice claims that may apply to hospice care.

Elder abuse

Sad as it may seem, this type of abuse may happen if a physician or nursing staff physically, mentally or financially abuse your loved one. These types of claims may be both criminal and civil.

Wrongful death

It may be hard to comprehend how you may have a wrongful death claim for your terminally ill loved one. However, if a medical professional took an action that resulted in an earlier death, such as allowing them to fall; you may be able to file a wrongful death claim.

Medical negligence

Your nursing staff must uphold their duty to perform at the appropriate standard of care. If they fail in that duty by neglecting safety protocols or by administering the incorrect treatment, you may have a claim for medical negligence.

Breach of contract

Since your medical professionals have agreed to a certain standard of care, including numbers of hours of care, frequency of visits, and provision of certain services, they are accountable for upholding their end of the bargain. Therefore, if no one shows up to work and your loved one suffers, the hospice care agency may have breached its contract.

Medical malpractice

While similar to medical negligence, medical malpractice claims are also separate from negligence claims. Either way, when your loved one is under the care of a physician or nurse, they must act in compliance with the understood competent level of care. If you can demonstrate to an Ohio court that a physician acted in a way that did not measure up to the appropriate standard of care one would expect from any reasonably competent medical professional, you may have a case for medical malpractice.