Many Arizona patients trust their doctors and healthcare professionals when they need medical care or surgery. As technology continues to advance, more tools, including machines, are becoming available to assist in surgeries and other procedures. However, there are questions arising over who is legally responsible when machines or other technology results in a misdiagnosis or other harm.
Artificial intelligence has the ability to drastically reduce the number of medical errors that are made. In many cases, the technology already available can match or even exceed the success rate of specialists in certain medical areas. For example, some studies suggest that AI systems are able to better identify heart attack risks from chest scans than cardiologists.
AIs that are used in the medical field are generally billed as "decision aides." This means that, in legal terms, they are intended to be used as a tool for specialists. Ultimately, this means that healthcare providers who use AI systems to aid in making diagnoses would still be liable in the event that a medical mistake occurs. However, it should be noted that there are cases where a healthcare provider may not be held liable. For example, if the AI system acted as other reasonable physicians in the same position would have, the healthcare provider may not be liable.
When a patient is undergoing surgery or a procedure, the patient expects the surgeon to be highly trained and competent at his or her job. However, there are times where the surgeon or healthcare professional may make a mistake, potentially resulting in serious injuries or even death. If a fatal surgical error results in serious harm or death, a medical malpractice attorney may assist a patient or the patient's family with filing a lawsuit against the healthcare provider and the doctor who provided the care.