Can You Hold an AI Program Liable for Medical Malpractice?

Can You Hold an AI Program Liable for Medical Malpractice?While you may not necessarily be able to hold an AI (artificial intelligence) program or tool liable for medical malpractice, you may hold the doctor, medical facility, or manufacturer liable. The doctor or medical facility trusted and depended on the AI program to make decisions regarding your health; and the manufacturer was responsible for ensuring that the AI tool did not have defects that could harm patients.

These cases are complex as AI is not a person or company. Instead, it is a technological tool; you could think of it as a machine, robot, or computer. However, doctors, hospitals, and other medical facilities using AI to treat patients can also cause life-threatening consequences for patients. When this occurs, you might be able to file a medical malpractice claim for your injuries.

Why would a doctor, hospital, or medical facility use AI?

Although many people and industries argue against using AI, many companies in Seattle have found benefits. Doctor’s offices, hospitals, and other medical facilities are catching on, and increasing their AI usage to help improve or refine the healthcare process. Some of the different tasks that AI may be used for include:

  • Diagnostic testing
  • Diagnostic analysis
  • To find out prognosis
  • To find hidden muscle injuries, broken or fractured bones, soft tissue injuries, and more
  • To find certain cancers, such as breast cancers
  • To examine x-rays and other imaging tests
  • To monitor patients
  • To look for drug interactions

By using AI, doctors may get their work done faster than ever before. They can research medical conditions and illnesses quickly, which can help treat patients rapidly. However, doctors and other healthcare providers using AI to accomplish their tasks must also remember that AI technology is a tool, and real humans’ lives are on the line. One AI error could cause catastrophic injuries, illnesses, or deaths among patients.

What happens when AI makes a medical mistake?

Serious consequences can arise when AI makes a mistake in the medical field. This could include t:

  • Wrong prescriptions or dosages are ordered.
  • Necessary medical treatments are delayed.
  • Medical conditions are misdiagnosed.
  • Patients undergo medical treatments or surgeries they do not need.
  • Patients experience additional injuries, illnesses, infections, or

AI likely can never replace the knowledge of a human doctor. Physicians and medical providers know how to recognize certain patterns of disease or injury, but they also know to proceed with caution when treating patients. AI is not programmed to do this; treating patients without caution or awareness of their individual history can lead to disastrous outcomes.

AI robots and surgery

According to the National Center of Biotechnological Information, AI is used in various surgeries. AI models, such as robots, are used to “further enhance surgical capabilities” and “automate surgical tasks.” Numerous ethical concerns and fears surround this practice. It’s not common to see recurring headlines about problems involving AI robots in the medical field.

For example, a recent lawsuit reported by NBC News involved  the manufacturer of a robotic device. The plaintiff alleges that the robotic device, called the Da Vinci, tore and burned his wife’s small intestine during surgery in 2021 following a colon cancer diagnosis. The patient died from her injuries less than six months after the surgery. Unfortunately, she is not the only one to have fallen victim to this machine. Other reported injuries caused by the da Vinci robot include:

  • Burns
  • Internal bleeding
  • Sepsis and other infections
  • Punctured, cut, or lacerated organs, intestines, or blood vessels
  • Death

Who should be held accountable after AI makes a medical mistake?

Many parties might be held accountable after AI makes a medical mistake. These could include:

  • The doctor, nurse, or healthcare provider who relied on AI
  • The hospital, doctor’s office, or healthcare facility that employed AI to handle certain tasks
  • The manufacturer or software company that created the AI device or tool

Have you or a loved one been harmed by AI technology while undergoing a medical procedure? If so, the Seattle medical malpractice lawyers at Smith McBroom are ready to help. Many patients are afraid to stand up to powerful medical facilities. When you hire our legal team, you can rest assured your lawyers won’t back down without a fight. Your medical malpractice attorney can thoroughly investigate your claim, determine which parties should be held liable, and pursue the maximum compensation available for your injuries. Call our office in Tukwila or submit our contact form to begin the fight for the justice you deserve.