Can Artificial Intelligence Be Held Liable for Medical Malpractice?
Artificial intelligence (AI) is being used in various ways in many different industries, and the medical field is no different. AI can help with diagnostic testing and analysis, among other things, which can make the healthcare process more efficient for doctors. However, all technology has the potential to fail, and AI errors can be serious or even life-threatening when it involves someone’s health. If malfunctioning artificial intelligence causes injuries to patients, can the patient sue the AI for medical malpractice?
AI Uses in Medical Practice
There are different ways that medical professionals can employ AI to better serve patients. The following are some emerging uses for artificial intelligence in the medical field:
- Using deep learning AI to determine a prognosis for patients diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Combining deep learning algorithms with PET scans to predict Alzheimer’s disease years before traditional diagnostic tools can, which can help halt or slow disease progression
- Detecting hidden fractures, soft tissue issues, or dislocations with AI radiology tools
- Using digital mammography to identify and diagnose breast cancer
- Having AI interpret chest x-rays to diagnose or rule out cardiomegaly
- Using deep learning-based automated detection (DLAD) to diagnose thoracic disorders like pneumonia
In addition to specific uses like those mentioned above, medical professionals can use AI networks to conduct in-depth research quickly. For example, some patients have complex medical backgrounds and take numerous medications that might have systemic effects. Instead of doctors searching online medical journals for hours before deciding on a course of treatment, AI networks can cross-reference certain medications and medical conditions to return confident and thorough results very quickly.
AI is a Product, Not a Person
When AI technology makes an error, it can lead to a misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose, medication errors, delay of treatment, and other forms of medical malpractice that cause preventable injuries to patients. Patients might need additional treatment, more invasive treatments, or they might experience life-threatening complications, among other injuries. When patients suffer these injuries due to medical negligence, they deserve to be compensated for their losses.
Can you hold AI liable for medical malpractice, just like you can medical professionals? The short answer is no, because AI technology is not a licensed medical professional or even a person who can act negligently. However, this does not mean there is no legal recourse for patients who suffer harm due to AI mistakes.
AI technology is viewed as a product, not a person. When a product malfunctions and causes injuries, victims can hold the product manufacturer liable for their losses by filing a product liability claim. This is one potential course of action when AI errors cause injuries. Another is a traditional medical negligence case based upon improper use or reliance on AI, rather than on “old-fashioned” medical care.
Contact an Ohio Medical Malpractice Attorney
As the medical field and its tools get more complicated, so do legal claims arising from medical negligence. At The Eisen Law Firm, our Ohio medical malpractice lawyers know how to approach even the most complex medical injury cases. Call 216-687-0900 or contact us online to learn how our dedicated legal team can help.