Socioeconomic Status and Standard of Care
Medical malpractice and negligence are a group of words you never want to hear together. Does someone who is of a higher socioeconomic status versus someone who does not deserve any different medical treatment?
As a Paralegal for decades, I’ve spoken with many clients, families, and experts regarding the level of care received for patients; discussing the skill and treatment of physicians required in determining the standard of care. Standard of care is defined and recognized by similar doctors in similar circumstances as reasonable, prudent care.
Or…in some circumstances, maybe not.
Once someone has received substandard treatment, causing injury and harm, and in some cases, even death, there may be no recognition of where and how things went wrong that is immediately clear. Once determining the legal standard for such deviations occurred, where does one go from there?
That brings me to a question that comes to mind. Is it more frequent that poor patients receive medical treatment that is below the standard of care? Shouldn’t healthcare be equal for everyone?
Do you have to just be lucky enough to have access to highly endorsed facilities and healthcare providers so that the odds are better in your favor? After all, it is a fact that has been confirmed after years of studies that people of poverty and malpractice claims are much more frequent than those of their counterparts.
Accessible options for higher paygrades versus those others on a lower income scale is just not available. Further, studies revealed that people of lower socioeconomic status may not recognize that the bad outcome was, in fact, a medical error. These people may not have advocates within their circle who are familiar with the healthcare system and who can guide them on what may or may not be the result of medical malpractice.
Individuals with low or no paying jobs. Does that make their lives any less valuable? Absolutely not.
Once that threshold of reasonable, prudent care has been breached, those responsible must be held accountable. Socioeconomic status should have nothing to do with it.
I have a Paralegal degree. I do not simply come and go from my place of work, assisting in all the work entailed in litigation, I am an advocate. I am an advocate to help protect those who need help. An advocate to remind you that everyone is worthy of a reasonable standard of care.
Our system needs to change in so many ways. Some of those changes are with the medical facilities and their providers. Some with the insurance carriers directing where we can go and what they will approve even when it has been ordered out of medical necessity. Why is it that options are available to some but not to all? There is something very wrong here. Every human life is equal.
When a human being needs medical care, no one should discriminate. Let’s come together in our communities to demand proper care for everyone.
If you or a loved one feel you may be a victim of medical negligence, we can help sort through that for you. These things take time and investigation. All the while, states vary on the statute of limitations for claims on such injuries, it is not long, and that clock is ticking, do not be afraid to be proactive. We work hard here, every single day, to bring the voices of those who so well deserve someone in their corner, and I am proud to call myself an advocate for all. Don’t let your life circumstances determine what care you should expect. Everyone should be treated with the best care. We need to come together to make that change.