Israeli hospitals give patients the wrong medicine: Can you sue? – Israel News

As a result of a severe malfunction in 20 hospitals in Israel, a long line of patients, the exact number of which is still unknown, received medications intended for other patients.

Can the patients who received the wrong medications sue for medical malpractice? Who can sue? Who would they sue? Is withholding information a criminal offense? Should a class action lawsuit be filed on behalf of all those patients?

Is this a case of medical malpractice? 

Such a serious scandal is indeed medical malpractice – it is a significant deviation from reasonable medical treatment. Incorrect medication poses a life-threatening risk, and public acknowledgment of the mishap was made 10 days after the problem was discovered and not immediately, as would be expected from any medical institution.

Who can sue?

Anyone who has been harmed and received incorrect medical treatment that is not personally prescribed to them. In such a lawsuit, it is possible to sue even in the absence of concrete proof of actual harm, but rather for the incorrect dosage itself, and providing improper medical treatment.

I assume that most patients have not been severely and materially harmed, but I believe that a class action lawsuit can be filed on behalf of all those whose “autonomy” has been violated in terms of their body and health.

Attorney Glickman. ”I don’t remember a huge failure on such a scale” (credit: Tali nahshon dag)

Who can be sued?

We are talking about 20 different hospitals: Who is to blame? Each hospital, the Health Ministry, the company behind the Chameleon software?

The majority of hospitals in Israel are owned by the state or general health insurance funds, so lawsuits are filed against these bodies rather than specific nurses or doctors, particularly as they are representatives of the medical institutions. In addition, if necessary, a lawsuit may be filed separately against any hospital or medical institution.


Regarding the Chameleon software, as an affected party, I would not begin by addressing the technological aspects, but rather file my claim against the medical institution, and if necessary, the institution itself would submit a third-party notice against the software manufacturer.

Since the malfunction was only discovered in government and the general health insurance fund hospitals, can the general health insurance fund be sued? Yes. The general health insurance fund is one of the major medical service providers in the country.

Can a patient who was not harmed by another patient’s medication claim negligence and receive compensation? If so, what is the basis?

The basis in such a case would be “violation of autonomy,” but in the absence of actual harm, and considering that compensations for non-economic damages in Israel are relatively low compared to the Western world, it is difficult to imagine thousands of people suing without proving actual harm, unless it culminates in a class action lawsuit.

Is there a potential for a class action lawsuit here, and if so, against whom?

A class action lawsuit is probably the key to rectifying the injustice done to thousands of patients, so that each one of them can receive proportional compensation, and as a group, they have a better chance of bringing about significant change.

In such a case, the lawsuit would be filed against all the institutions together, and they would bear proportional compensation according to their market share or the number of affected patients.

According to reports, when a patient arrives at the hospital, all the medications they received in their previous hospitalization are documented in their medical record. However, due to the malfunction, incorrect information and incorrect medications appeared in some medical records.

Were there similar malfunctions in the past?

I have been working in the medical field for almost 20 years, and I do not recall such a massive failure with the potential to affect so many people. Unfortunately, this is one of the drawbacks and at the same time advantages of technology – it can have a tremendous impact on a large number of people, both positive and negative.

Is concealing the malfunction for 10 days negligence or a criminal offense?

I believe it can be both, especially in severe cases where significant harm or death is caused to patients. Claims of negligence or death due to negligence are certainly possible in such cases and one can only hope that no one was harmed to such an extent.

The writer specializes in medical malpractice lawsuits.

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