How COVID-19 Will Affect Medical Malpractice and You

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STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • A largely hidden issue of the COVID-19 pandemic is the risk of medical malpractice, and the consequences for you, health care workers and hospitals alike
  • New Jersey has granted civil and criminal immunity to health care providers battling COVID-19. Sweeping civil and criminal immunity has also been granted in New York, including for nursing home executives
  • Michigan, Massachusetts, Illinois and Connecticut have also issued immunity laws for malpractice related to COVID-19, and Iowa lawmakers introduced a bill to grant broad protections to health care providers, hospitals, nursing homes and a variety of other businesses in early June
  • The problem with handing out broad immunity to any and all health care providers and executives is that it may lower the quality of care. If you know you cannot be sued under any circumstance, you’re less likely to take all the precautions necessary to avoid making a mistake
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, many doctors have been asked to provide care outside their area of expertise, which increases the risk of errors occurring

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