When Medicine and Law Collide

In today’s world, its common to read headlines about medical issues being resolved in court. Healthcare controversies such as legalizing marijuana, reproductive rights, stem cell research or vaccine controversies have crossed a line between personal medicine and politics, leaving the court system to rely on factual, medical evidence in order to try to define policies or resolve disputes.

legal nurse consultantLawyers and judges specialize in law and may not always be able to fully explain the medical concerns that arise when these issues come into court, and a liason between the medical and legal worlds may be needed in order to help define medical terminology or give insight into particular research. Lawsuits over medical malpractice are also commonly heard in court. From a baby born with cerebral palsy to an elderly person being allegedly mistreated in a nursing facility, the law helps protect both the provider and the recipient of medical care from abuses and negligence. A Legal Nurse Consultant (LNC) is a liaison between the medical and legal worlds. A LNC can explain in court about a particular treatment, symptoms, side effects or the personal experience within a medical facility. Their expertise in the medical field is needed in legal cases in order to explain or clarify medical records or research, identify standards of care, note errors in treatment or any number of other medically-based, legal issues in both civil and criminal cases.

In order for legal courts to understand the severity of medical issues, whether they happen to an individual or within the political realm, it is imperative that a knowledgeable person explain confusing medical terminology or other extenuating circumstances. Leaving medical decisions and rights up to a judge may seem counter-intuitive and it can be reassuring to have a qualified person to interpret medical information. Whether you are fighting for political change, or for your own family, the more information you can provide could mean the difference between a good or bad outcome for healthcare issues that matter most.