Legal Aspects of Men's Genitourinary Health

J. Henning; S. Waxman

Disclosures

Int J Impot Res. 2009;21(3):165–170 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Abstract

Men's health issues have increasingly gained attention not only in the mass media, but also among most health-care providers. The diagnosis and treatment of male-related health problems, unfortunately, can lead to complications and error-related injuries resulting in claims of medical malpractice. This review article will look at the most common claims relating to complications and injuries in the management of men's health issues. Reviews of the literature over the past three decades using multiple search engines including PubMed were utilized. The most pertinent articles were selected on the basis of their relevance to men's health issues, complications and medico-legal ramifications. An evaluation of the literature reveals that although the number of claims against urologists has not increased over the past several decades, indemnity payments have continued to rise significantly. Claims can be divided into those relating to diagnosis and those relating to treatment. Providers of men's health care may become involved in claims of medical malpractice at some time during their careers. Patients' care can result in complications and injuries, most of which do not lead to claims. Certain areas of men's health lead to more claims than others. The keys to prevention and management of those claims are good communication, informed consent and documentation.

Introduction

Physicians and other health-care providers evaluate and treat a large number of conditions involving the male genitourinary tract. Men's health issues encompass a wide spectrum of benign and malignant disease. In the course of treatment, some patients may suffer complications or injury. Fewer still will file a claim of medical malpractice.[1] This article will review common procedures and maladies of the male genitourinary tract, which can lead to significant and serious complications that may ultimately result in a claim of malpractice against health-care providers. We will focus on specific areas, which account for the majority of claims and make suggestions for the prevention and management of torts resulting from complications.

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