Psychiatric malpractice is a psychiatrist’s misconduct or failure to provide a professional level of skill in the care and treatment of patients.
Psychiatric patients often must deal with unstable and fragile mental states. They depend on psychiatrists or psychologists to provide appropriate support and care. When a psychiatrist fails to provide the support and care expected, resulting in harm to the patient, the psychiatrist may be held responsible for medical malpractice.
While treating people’s mental and emotional states, extreme care must be taken by psychiatrists in diagnosing symptoms or prescribing treatment. In some cases, a patient’s life may be at stake. A misdiagnosis related to a condition or medication could have dire consequences.
Actions that constitute psychiatric malpractice include:
- Failure to properly supervise a patient in need
- Failure to diagnose a worsening condition
- Lack of informed consent to use a particular therapeutic technique, procedure or medication
- Failure to prevent a patient’s harm
- Negligent use of medications
- Breach of privacy
During a malpractice claim, damages may be sought for past and future medical expenses, emotional pain and suffering, and loss of income.