Prescribing errors and medical negligence
If a prescription error is made and a patient is harmed, there may be grounds for a medical negligence claim.
This is because medical practitioners have a legal duty to provide all patients with an acceptable standard of care. What is deemed ‘acceptable’ must be judged against what a reasonable body of medical men find acceptable.
For instance, if a GP prescribes a kidney failure patient with a type of antibiotic that is not recommended in patients with reduced kidney function, it must be asked whether a reasonable body of GPs would take the same course of action.
If it is found that a reasonable body of GPs would NOT take the same course of action, there will be a breach of duty. This means that the medical practitioner/organisation has provided a substandard level of care.
Should a breach of duty cause a patient to suffer injury, there will be grounds for a medical negligence claim. If the patient has died from their injuries, the family will be able to pursue a claim on behalf of the estate.