What is Malpractice?
Medical malpractice has an element of intent attached to it that negligence does not. Malpractice is a breach in the duty of care by a medical provider. The provider was aware at the time that they had done something that breached a duty of care, for example they knowingly did something that could harm / risk a patient or should have done something and did not take action knowing that failure to do so could harm a patient.
What is Negligence?
Negligence is when a mistake is made without knowledge or intent. When a medical provider makes a “mistake” in treating a patient and the mistake results in harm to a patient, this is negligence. An example of negligence would be a nurse leaving a gauze in a wound while assisting in an operating theater before a surgeon applies stitches. Neither had intent to leave the gauze in the wound, it was a mistake. Misdiagnosis is another common form of negligence where a medical provider fails to diagnose. This was not intentional but possibly could have been due to a lack of knowledge or experience.