Patient abuse is the misuse of medical services for non-medical purposes. This can include everything from misuse of medications to unnecessary surgeries.
It is the occurrence of mistreatment of a patient by a medical professional. It can be physical, verbal, or psychological.
It is important to note that patient abuse does not include situations where the patient may have been injured due to neglect on the practitioner’s part.
Types of Patient Abuse
Many different types of patient abuse can come in a variety of forms. Some of them are listed below:
- Physical Abuse
Physical abuse takes place when an individual misuses a “patient” physically. The patient could be an older person or even someone who is mentally ill or disabled.
One of the most common forms of patient abuse is physical abuse. This type can be defined as any act or way in which you intentionally cause physical harm to another person. It can be a verbal threat or in the form of continuous sparking, hitting or beating.
- Psychological Abuse or Emotional Abuse
Psychological abuse or emotional abuse is a type of abuse which is the most common form of physical abuse in patients. Patients experiencing this type of abuse are those with chronic illnesses, mental illness and injuries.
It is a form of violence towards someone who is mentally ill or physically disadvantaged.
- Sexual Abuse
A patient may be sexually abused by a healthcare provider who has a sexual relationship with the patient and authority over the patient.
Abuse can occur during physical examinations, including digital penetration; during surgical procedures, such as genital exams; or when a patient is being treated for an injury or illness.
- Financial Abuse
Financial abuse occurs when a patient is taken advantage of financially, either to control their money or because they aren’t aware of how much they’re spending.
It can be a dangerous situation for patients to be in, especially when they aren’t able to see their financial information.
Financial abuse can include:
- Taking out large loans without the patient’s knowledge or consent
- Using credit cards without permission or knowledge
- Using cash advances on credit cards without permission or knowledge
- Neglect of Medical Care
Neglect occurs when a patient fails to attend appointments or follow the doctor’s instructions.
This can happen in many ways, including failing to notify the doctor if they plan on going out of town, not scheduling or following follow-up appointments, and simply not showing up for appointments when it’s time for them to be seen.
This type of abuse is not uncommon in clinical settings; medical professionals are often overworked and understaffed, so taking care of patients who don’t show up for appointments can lead to severe consequences.
Malpractice is a type of patient abuse in which a healthcare provider negligently harms or causes the death of another person. Malpractice can be caused by medical errors, like misdiagnosis or negligence.
Whether the specific actions are performed with malice or result from ignorance on the healthcare provider’s part, patient abuse is never acceptable.
However, even with the law protecting patients, it can be challenging to sift through all the information and accusations.
These crimes are punishable, and some people are willing to help patients who have been abused. Please do not suffer in silence if you have been used or someone you love has been abused then you can hire an injury lawyer for legal consultation to handle the situation in a better way.