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Difference Between Negligence and Malpractice

Negligence vs Malpractice

In health degree courses, a subject called health ethics is being taken by health professionals all over the world. Two of the most important and most controversial topics involved are negligence and malpractice.

Why? It is important because the life of the patient is always at stake when it comes to health degrees. Pharmacists must dispense the right drug, the right dose, and other rights to the right patient. Nurses must always be careful with their duties. Doctors must perform their duties well so as not to compromise the patient’s health.

Negligence is defined as the omission to utilize care as a cautious and wary human being would do under comparable conditions. While they define malpractice as not proper or ethical practice, which can also be a professional who is lacking skills, that results in harmful or negligent performance therefore harming the individual. The professional here can be applied to nurses, physicians, engineers, dentists, etc.

While I was in nursing school, a better explanation was being explained to us. Negligence is not doing the right thing at the right time of the circumstance. While malpractice means a “professional” not doing the right task at the “standard” of care causing harm to the client due to unskillful acts.

Negligence can also be used for professionals and non-professionals, but malpractice is only used to describe cases for professionals.

An example of malpractice is this situation:

An operation was scheduled for a patient. During the operation, a surgeon was making incisions in the skin. Suddenly the patient was bleeding extremely. The surgeon had hit an organ. The surgeon tried to stop the bleeding by sewing the organ; however, bleeding continued until the patient died due to hypovolemia or low circulating blood.

In that circumstance, there is malpractice on the part of the doctor.

Examples of negligence for nurses include patients having bed sores. The nurse might have forgotten to turn the patient every two hours. Another is a patient becomes dehydrated. The nurse forgot to hook up another IV fluid. In negligence, the nurse didn’t do the right thing; however, no grave harm occurred. For doctors it includes; misdiagnosis, wrong interpretation of laboratory results, etc.

Negligence and malpractice are serious cases which can be fought over in the courts. Health professionals must be cautious to avoid these kinds of incidents.


1.Negligence is not doing the right thing during a certain circumstance while malpractice is failure to do the right thing which should be at par with the standard procedure which caused harm to the patient.

2.Negligence can be attributed to professionals and non-professionals while malpractice is only attributed to professionals.

3.Both cases of negligence and malpractice can be brought to court if there is evidence.

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1 Comment

  1. its really an amazing and interesting writing

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