Medical malpractice is rising

medical malpractice

Medical malpractice – Medical professionals all over the world have had potentially the most stressful eighteen month period of their careers. Unfortunately, this has in part led to care standards slipping in some places. As reported by CBC, this was most recently seen by Montreal in the tragic death of Saint-Charles-Borromée local Joyce Echaquan, and the behaviour of medical staff uncovered in the ensuing inquiry. Medical professionals have necessarily been given a lot of space to operate, but questions are now being asked of whether this approach has allowed negligence to flourish – and what the law can do to respond.

medical malpractice

State of affairs

Canada has a general climate opposed to litigation in the medical field. There are exceptions; for instance, a Montreal-based brain injury lawyer is often an appropriate recourse for justice in the case of birth injuries. However, indications are that the top legal powers in the country are not predisposed to making changes to the state of medical litigation. Mondaq report that the Supreme Court voted, as recently as February, to leave existing protections in situ and not make any further advancements in the scope of medical negligence rights.

A problem

Unfortunately, this doesn’t cover what is undoubtedly a rising level of medical negligence in Montreal. From Joyce Echaquan to Mireille Ndjomouo, hospitals and care facilities have been highlighted by CBC as simply not providing the right level of care and attention to patients. Often, those diagnosed with serious mental conditions are most at risk, and have the most complex requirements. A new approach may be needed.

A sliding scale

An August 2020 study of medical negligence systems globally, published by The Journal of Criminal Law, advocates for a sliding scale akin to the systems found in Scotland and New Zealand. Currently, medical negligence is thought of as a black and white issue; where patient death is involved, there is a case. Using systems from other countries for inspiration provides a third way; a sliding scale that highlights culpability, motive, and other factors. This can help to provide a nuanced view of medical malpractice and ensure justice is brought without creating vexatious or unfair litigation.

Other solutions are out there; it’s clear that Canada needs one. Montreal in particular has seen distressing cases of medical malpractice over the past year, and these cases are not going away. A new approach is needed to help ensure medical justice is met.

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