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Knowing when bad bedside manner equates to medical malpractice

On Behalf of | Nov 8, 2023 | Accidents & Incidents

Patients in Illinois often feel more comfortable with friendly, compassionate doctors. However, some are more business-minded and don’t have such compassionate personalities. In that situation, it’s fair for patients to wonder if bad bedside manner may constitute medical malpractice.

Understanding bad bedside manner

Bad bedside manner from a doctor can make a patient feel invalidated and unimportant. It occurs when a physician exhibits poor communication, unfriendliness and even occasionally belittles a patient’s concerns. They might even be rude, mean and dismissive. However, in many instances, bad bedside manner doesn’t automatically mean a doctor is unprofessional or negligent. It can be considered medical malpractice if a doctor acts in an egregious way that leaves a patient suffering harm. For example, if a patient has concerns about their heart racing and the doctor dismisses them but they later suffer a heart attack, it would constitute malpractice.

Proving medical malpractice

If a patient suffers adverse effects after seeing a doctor who shows bad bedside manner, it could be challenging to prove medical malpractice. However, one way to prove it is to get a second opinion from another doctor. If the original one failed to diagnose, treat or even listen to the person’s concerns, a second opinion from another doctor could help build a case.

The patient’s condition worsening is a key factor in medical malpractice stemming from a bad bedside manner. If enough evidence indicates that the doctor’s behavior directly caused the patient harm, they could choose to file a lawsuit. In these situations, medical experts are often brought in to testify on the plaintiff’s behalf to explain how the case equates to malpractice.

Bad bedside manner isn’t always malpractice. However, when doctors exhibit more of a caring attitude, it’s more likely to benefit patients.