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A few years ago, I was in a pretty serious car accident. During the aftermath, I became really familiar with a lot of different types of lawyers. I worked with personal injury lawyers, insurance lawyers, and many others. Perhaps the most important, though, was the estate planning lawyer. I was really young, and neither my wife or I had thought about starting a will. But the accident kind of scared us into it. What would happen if one of us were to die? Even when still in the hospital, I was working with the lawyer to draw up a will. Now, I have some peace and security about what the future will be like if something should happen to me. And I have a lot of experience working with various types of lawyers! The accident was kind of a blessing in disguise in that way.

Malpractice Malfunctions: Would You Trust A Robot To Preform Surgery On You?

Law Blog

Not too many years ago, the idea of incorporating robots into everyday life seemed like the stuff of fantasy, solely reserved for Hollywood science fiction movies and cartoons like The Jetsons. While some dreamed of a future where the futuristic world painted in fiction would become a reality, many people would have been surprised to witness some of the technological advances just around the corner on planet Earth. Today, robots are not only used to perform simple tasks such as vacuuming floors in an average household — robots are also being trusted to perform complex surgeries that would have previously only been entrusted to the hands of an expert surgeon. Would you be willing to trust your fate in an important operation to a machine? Many have thought twice after considering the risks involved with trusting a robot with surgery.

All Technology Can Malfunction

If you've been around computers long enough, you've likely experienced what some users jokingly call "the blue screen of death." When computing errors occur with any computer system, the nature of the problem can impact the potential solutions. On one hand, some computer issues can be resolved simply by rebooting your computer, while other problems may become the point of no return — leading to names like "the blue screen of death."

Knowing the long list of problems that can occur with your average computer, the question begs to be asked: What would happen if a medical robot were to malfunction during a surgery? Just like any other form of technology, the surgical machine can encounter errors from time to time... but how serious could these mistakes be?

A Range of Problems

Just as a computer can encounter problems that are easily fixed or more lasting issues, so a medical machine has the potential to encounter the same range of malfunctions. In common cases, the robotic arm can shut down, requiring simple maintenance to be performed before getting back to full functioning order once again. In some cases, however, programming errors have lead to arteries being opened by mistake or other parts of the body being damaged.

Eligible for Compensation

As the technology has advanced throughout the years to allow robotic machines to perform surgery, so the laws protecting Americans have advanced as well. Whereas medical malpractice laws once covered individuals who had suffered losses as a result of a surgeon's mistake, the law has now extended to include any issues created during surgery by robots.

If you believe you have any medical issues or problems following a surgery as a result of medical malpractice (whether performed by a robot or a human), contact a law firm such as Otorowski Johnston Morrow & Golden P.L.L.C. immediately — you're likely eligible to receive compensation for the mistake.


2 February 2015