A recent report shows that sexism can make surgery more dangerous for women. Medical malpractice is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, and women are generally at greater risk for certain mistakes than men.
Doctors who make mistakes in diagnosis, pharmacists who dispense the wrong drugs and surgeons that leave tools behind in patients can cause severe injury and sometimes death. Surgical risks exist for anyone undergoing one of these invasive medical procedures, but some people are at much higher risk of a negative outcome than others.
Women may suffer from a worse surgical outcome and may have a much higher risk of dying if the person performing their procedure is a man.
Research shows that female surgeons are better to female patients
Anyone could have something go wrong during a procedure, but some people are less likely to suffer from surgical mistakes than others. A doctor’s attention to detail and how much they value their patient can affect their performance in the operating room.
That might explain why female patients undergoing surgery are 32% more likely to die when a man performs their operation. Female surgeons tend to create better outcomes for female patients. It may only be after a negative outcome that a patient or their surviving family members look at a surgeon’s records and notice a pattern regarding the sex of patients with poor outcomes.
Those hurt by negligent or biased doctors deserve justice
Physicians should not let their personal biases, like sexism, affect the care that they provide to their patients. A surgeon should do their best during every procedure, regardless of the sex of the patient.
Both of those injured during a medical procedure and family members who have lost a loved one may be able to pursue medical malpractice claims in certain situations. Proving negligence or demonstrating a history of bias could lead to successful malpractice claims by those affected by sexism in the operating room.