The Impact of Medical Negligence on Women

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Photo by Anna Shvets

In this article, we’ll be exploring whether medical negligence is a gendered issue that affects women more than it affects men…

Medical negligence is when a patient has received a substandard level of care. This can happen at any point during medical treatment. Medical negligence can affect both men and women however, time and time again women’s health concerns have been ignored, downplayed or unrecognised suggesting that this is a gendered issue.

In order to properly understand the issue, we must identify what medical negligence is and why it is disproportionately affecting women. There are many people who are trying to file fatal accident claims, so hopefully, this can shed some light on the topic.

What is Medical Negligence?

Within the duties of a medical practitioner, there are certain standards expected of all healthcare professionals. Doctors, nurses, surgeons, consultants, and specialists are all bound by a code of ethics and responsibilities.

In most cases, medical professionals carry out their responsibilities very well. Lots of people receive the appropriate medical attention that they require, saving them from potentially life-threatening diseases or accidents however, this is not always the case.

There are many situations where a medical professional does not live up to the standards that have been expected of them. This means that they may fail to diagnose somebody with a condition or make a mistake during treatment. The result is that the patient suffers injury or death.

Medical negligence can happen in any situation. It is not specific to any one medical issue or geographical location. However, medical negligence does appear to be much more likely to occur when dealing with women than men.

Why is Medical Negligence a Gendered Issue?

When dealing with medical negligence, it’s important to understand there are many reasons why it can be considered a gendered issue.

The primary concern when dealing with medical negligence is the way in which men and women are treated in the same way. On the surface, this might seem like a perfectly ordinary thing, as well as commentary on equality between the sexes.

However, within the context of men and women, medical treatment is one area where the two are not the same. Women have different sets of hormones and chromosomes, which influence medical treatment. You cannot prescribe the same solution for a woman as you can for a man in some cases.

Unfortunately, this is a common practice in the medical industry. Doctors will simply offer the same treatment, regardless of gender, and in some cases, this has a detrimental impact on the well-being of the patient. If this happens, it may be the ground for a medical negligence claim.

Concerns Shared by Many

Unfortunately, further compounding the problem is the fact that this issue is not new. Even as far back as 2020, an article published by the Guardian makes reference to the fact that women and men are treated the same when there is clear medical knowledge to demonstrate why this is a bad idea.

The problem, as summarised by the article, is twofold. First of all, the bulk of medical knowledge comes from studying male cells. Whether these are human cells or animal cells, the bulk of our medical ability comes from treating conditions found within males.

Second of all, there is not enough study into the specific conditions which affect women. A large number of reproductive conditions faced by women are not treatable at the current point in time because we simply do not possess the knowledge.

Medical Negligence is Systemic and Real

Unfortunately, medical negligence is a systemic issue that disproportionately affects women. Medical negligence is often not deliberate, but it doesn’t change the fact that life-changing injuries can be accidentally inflicted. For this reason, it’s important that people strive to seek appropriate compensation where necessary. Medical negligence is one of the most difficult things to try and deal with because it is an ongoing problem that the medical sector has yet to try and deal with.

The information contained within this article should be considered informative only. Always seek legal advice before attempting to challenge medical negligence. This information is not a substitute for effective legal advice delivered by trained experts after a careful review of the situation you are in.

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