Will I Lose My Medical License for a Patient’s Death in New York?

You do everything in your power to improve your patient’s conditions. But whether it is through some minor mistake or being tasked with doing the impossible, your patient has died. Practically every doctor or medical professional will go through this at some point in their career. Unfortunately, you now face greater scrutiny as well as civil and criminal liability. More than merely heartbreaking, a patient’s death could result in you losing your medical license in New York. For more information on patient deaths and their potential impacts on your career, please read on, then contact one of our experienced New York health care professional defense lawyers today.

How can a patient die under a doctor’s care in New York?

Some of the most common ways doctors allegedly “kill” patients are as follows:

  • Medication errors: Overdoses, failing to recognize the complications of drugs, wrong-patient incidents, et cetera.
  • Surgical errors: Improperly anesthetizing patients, improperly placing airway tubes down the patient’s throat, slipping and cutting an artery, et cetera.
  • Infections: Giving a hospital-acquired infection that ends up being resistant to medication and treatment and or an infection that does not receive immediate treatment and develops into sepsis.
  • Misdiagnosing or failing to diagnose and allowing an existing condition to fester and grow to a point where it can’t be treated.

Might a patient’s death cost you your medical license in New York?

If a doctor allegedly kills a patient due to his or her medical malpractice or negligence, it can result in a wrongful death lawsuit. On its own, that wrongful death lawsuit, even if it is ultimately successful, will not cause you to lose your New York medical license. In order for you to have your medical license suspended or revoked, you will need to be investigated by the state Office of Professional Medical Conduct and found to have committed misconduct. It should be noted that negligence and misconduct are not one and the same.

When does a patient’s death constitute misconduct capable of stripping you of your New York medical license?

A patient dying on your watch does not in and of itself constitute misconduct worthy of investigation by the OPMC. In order for a patient’s death to jeopardize your medical license, you must have:

  • Practiced fraudulently, with gross incompetence or gross negligence
  • Practiced while impaired by alcohol, drugs, physical or mental disability
  • Guaranteed that treatment that would have resulted in a cure
  • Refused to provide services because of race, creed, color or national origin
  • Performed services not authorized by the patient
  • Harassed, abused or intimidated a patient
  • Abandoned or neglected a patient in need of immediate care

Whatever you may think, those might be too heavy a burden of proof for a plaintiff or prosecutor to satisfy, at least in the hands of a qualified OPMC/OPD misconduct defense lawyer from our firm.

Contact our experienced New York City firm

If you are a medical professional accused of misconduct, contact the Walker Medical Law firm to set up a free initial consultation.