HELPING HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS KEEP HELPING THEIR PATIENTS
While disciplinary measures against doctors are designed to protect the public, physicians and nurses themselves often need protection as well. Since both the Medical Licensing Board of Indiana and the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency are prohibited from providing legal advice, healthcare professionals who feel their livelihoods are being threatened are turning to us in the legal profession for help and guidance.
It’s true: Here at Ramey & Hailey Law, our attorneys are increasingly being called upon to help medical professionals deal with the emotional as well as the financial damage they have suffered by having their careers unfairly threatened.
When doctors or nurses face disciplinary action before a state licensing board, that not only disrupts their practice, but affects every aspect of their professional and personal lives. As their legal counselors, we help them deal with the emotional as well as the financial damages they have suffered.
But isn’t the express purpose of the licensing board to protect the public by holding healthcare professionals to the highest standards of care? Certainly. In fact, at Ramey & Hailey, a key aspect of our work over the past 40 years has been representing patients who have been injured through medical malpractice.
But when it’s practitioners who are being unfairly disciplined, we have a duty to come to their defense. The American Medical Association’s Journal of Ethics lists several ways in which the discipline of a physician has been proven to have been unfair:
- the board did not follow proper due process in its proceedings
- the physician was not treated like others in a similar situation
- the physician is being punished twice for the same infraction
- the ruling board is not competent in that field of practice
Is unfair disciplining of healthcare professionals a common occurrence? Unfortunately, yes. As the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons points out, the regulatory climate in the United States is becoming steadily worse for medical practitioners, who can lose their licenses based on:
- very little proof
- inadequate due process
- procedural errors in filing license renewal paperwork
A notice from a state medical board can be even more threatening than a medical malpractice lawsuit, the authors explain.
Because our Indiana personal injury attorneys are experienced in dealing with both board proceedings and malpractice litigation, we can work to protect both “sides” from unfairness and harm – the patients and the physicians upon whom those patients depend.