Practicing Medicine without a License: A Dangerous Proposition

As you know, in order for one to practice medicine, one must be licensed to do so.  The government requires such licensing because providing medical care can be disastrous and even fatal if such is done without the proper knowledge, skill, and training.  When licensed, the message to the patient is that the doctor is competent to provide medical care.

But of course, medical certification is not a onetime event; doctors must participate in continued education and retesting to maintain certification. 

So what happens when a person is not a licensed doctor or has let their credentials lapse negligently performs treatment on a patient and the patient is caused to suffer damages there from? 

Rest assured, our experienced Hudson medical malpractice attorneys know that there are civil and criminal repercussions for people practicing medicine without proper licensure and or certification. 

Unauthorized practice of medicine is a civil offense and many laws in New York State touch upon the issue.  For present purposes, you should simply know that any patient injured by a person pretending to be a doctor has rights to civil compensation.  Moreover, any doctor whose credentials have lapsed will face the possibility of being presumed negligent if a patient is wrongfully harmed.

Consider the tort of battery as well.  This is the harmful or offensive contact with the body of another without consent and or privilege.  When a patient consents to medical care, that consent is founded upon the doctor being a true and certified doctor.  Consent to treatment can be voided if such is based upon a lie, deceit, and or fraud and may give rise to a battery claim. 

Since these types of actions are especially egregious, and are done with intent, a civil court can impose punitive damages on the defendant.  This means that the injured plaintiff can receive compensation meant to punish the wrongdoer in addition to receiving compensation for the economic and non-economic losses incurred like lost wages, pain and suffering, treatment costs, and so on. 

There is a criminal element to the unlicensed practice of medicine.  This means that states have made it a crime to practice medicine without being properly licensed and certified.  This means that law enforcement authorities should be notified when a person has been treated by a person unlicensed to practice medicine. 

The offending party will be fully investigated by law enforcement agencies, arrested, and charged with a crime.  The offending party could face misdemeanor and even felony charges.  Criminal consequences could be fines, probation, jail time, and even a prison sentence. 

In short, if you were treated by a phony doctor, you are entitled to compensation and the offender can go to jail. 

But what do you think?  I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected]  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com

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