The Responsibility of Corporate Hospitals for Violation of Medical Ethics

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Hospitals
  • Hospital Negligence
  • Vicarious Liability


The legal definition of medical malpractice isn’t just constrained to the behaviour of medical doctors, it also applies to attendants, nurses, anesthesiologists, facilities providing healthcare, companies selling medicine, and others that give medical services. The central purpose of a medical negligence suit is to demonstrate fault – usually by a doctor or another person directly linked to the case. However, in some situations, you can sue other related bodies as well. If you have a medical negligence claim in the UK but are unsure of who to sue then you should consider getting an attorney to evaluate your claim and identify its strengths and weaknesses.

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Hospitals are institutions that are either publicly or privately owned. With regards to medical malpractice activities, hospitals can be held directly responsible for their negligence, and can likewise be held ‘vicariously’ responsible for the negligence of their employees. Vicarious responsibility implies that a group is considered responsible not for its carelessness, but the carelessness of someone else.

Hospital Negligence

A hospital’s medicinal staff will comprise of authorized doctors and other licensed medical service providers, for example, nurses, doctors’ assistants, and attendants. When trying to hire its medical staff, a hospital must investigate a candidate’s institution, training and authorization. If a hospital neglects to make sensible inquiries into an individual from its medical staff, it may be held responsible under the ‘corporate negligence’ doctrine for careless supervision or maintenance, if a staff member’s carelessness harms a patient.

Hospitals are also required to make sure that an adequate number of well-trained nurses are available 24/7 so that the best care possible can be given to the patients. A hospital that neglects to do as such might be held responsible for any harm to patients coming about because of a nursing deficiency. Another potential risk of liability emerges when a hospital’s medical staff neglect to follow the directions of a patient’s private doctor. Alternately, if a hospital’s staff finds a private doctor’s treatment to be contraindicated and neglects to make a sensible request of the doctor with regards to the treatment plan, the hospital can also be liable here.

Vicarious Liability

Vicarious liability, also known by the Latin term “respondent superior”, is used to describe holding an individual or institution liable for the negligence of another. Mostly used in regards to employee-employer relationships, it can be applied in other situations as well where an individual or organization holds a superior position to an agent. In this case, a hospital is liable for its doctors and staffs’ actions. This doctrine is imperative to patients or their families in medical negligence cases since it guarantees there will be a monetarily responsible group to remunerate the harmed patient.

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