When going for a consultation, patients can immediately gauge if their doctor or nurse is competent enough to manage their case. This is why many are confident in filing for a medical malpractice case if they can prove their healthcare provider is negligent. However, as we enter the tech era where the healthcare industry is slowly embracing the world of robotics and artificial intelligence, patients may find themselves dealing with technology increasingly more often.
For surgery-related injuries, it becomes tricky when a machine is involved. Who is responsible? Who will take the blame? Is it the surgeon, the nurse, or the hospital administration? Can a patient file a case when they know the risks involved and still consent?
Improvements in Medical Technology
We are now living in an age where we can depend on our technology, specifically artificial intelligence (AI), to assist us. More hospitals are now utilizing robots as surgical assistants to complete operations. As technology continues to progress, it’s entirely possible that robots could prove more adept at performing surgical procedures than trained human surgeons.
Currently, AI systems are undergoing tests with protocols for diagnosing skin cancer. One AI system has a program to recognize eye conditions that caused 10% of vision loss for children around the globe. Another AI system can identify lung cancers. This shows that technology in healthcare is now being used for a wide variety of applications.
As we embrace improvements in medical technology, we all know that there is still the possibility for mistakes, such as hardware breakdown, corrupted software programs, or application errors. This is where it gets tricky; When it pertains to surgical errors, people want a clear distinction of who is liable.
Medical Technology Responsibilities
Liability issues with medical technology such as AI are still conspicuous and will rise as technology continues to progress. Hospitals are using AI systems as “decision aids,” where they assist doctors or provide opinions. While they won’t replace doctors, AI may supersede training and knowledge as they assist in making medical decisions.
Hospitals are liable for their staff if they make mistakes in their field, but it’s important to remember that AI systems are not staff members. Doctors and surgeons must only utilize AI systems as equipment to assist in their practice, but not as alternatives. Doctors should utilize robots and AI systems in an ethical, legal way, and only within the standards of medical practice.
Hospital Liabilities on a Robotic Surgery Error
You can sue a hospital after a robotic surgery error, but the process is complicated. It will also be challenging to determine who is at fault. You need to institute the relationship between the healthcare provider and patient and provide proof of negligence by the healthcare provider. You also need to prove that the negligence caused your injury.
The malpractice legal action would require identifying the healthcare provider overseeing your care, and including the manufacturer and designer of the AI system or robot. With these provisions, the court will be able to pinpoint the party at fault, and to what extent the negligence happened. Most cases are the doctor’s fault for not using the system correctly.
The best way to identify who is responsible for your injuries is to have a personal injury lawyer to help you with your situation. Medical malpractice or negligence is unique, and the lawyer will review and scrutinize your injury after a robotic surgery error. Your lawyer will also need your medical records, reports, and witnesses to proceed with your case.
Medical practice laws are confusing, especially when it involves a progressive medical technology. You must seek professional help for your claims as you battle your struggle for your injuries.