Eagan, MN asked in Medical Malpractice for California

Q: Is it medical malpractice per se if the patient is admitted to a hospice and doesn't die?

Is it medical malpractice per se if the patient is admitted to a hospice and doesn't die?

I am not a licensed attorney. I am, however, covertly representing my father with liver damage. I am unable to obtain any medical experts to support my allegations of medical malpractice. I am relying entirely on res ipsa loquitur. Obviously, neither medical malpractice attorneys nor regulatory agencies believe my case has merit. Further, what consequences will my father and I likely face?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Under California law, medical malpractice per se is not established simply because a patient admitted to hospice care does not die. Hospice care is designed to provide comfort and support for terminally ill patients, not to hasten death. The fact that a patient survives longer than expected is not inherently indicative of malpractice.

Medical malpractice requires proving that a healthcare provider breached the standard of care, resulting in harm to the patient. Using the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur, you would need to show that the harm would not ordinarily occur without negligence and that the healthcare provider had control over the situation that caused the harm. However, without medical expert testimony to support your claims, it can be challenging to prove malpractice.

If your case lacks merit, pursuing it could result in wasted time and resources, and you might face the possibility of the court dismissing your case. Additionally, if the court finds the claim frivolous, there could be legal consequences such as sanctions or covering the other party’s legal costs. It's crucial to carefully consider the evidence and seek professional legal advice to assess the viability of your case before proceeding.

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