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Medical malpractice is an act or omission by a health care provider which deviates from accepted standards of practice in the medical community and which causes injury to the patient. Simply put, medical malpractice is professional negligence (by a healthcare provider) that causes an injury.
At the outset it is important to remember that virtually every country in the world operates its own unique legal system, and within some countries (e.g. the USA, the United Kingdom), there is more than one system operating within the same national borders. While much of this article mentions US law, it is important to remember that US law is not applicable world-wide, including when it comes to medical malpractice.
Medical malpractices may hide medical murders. When Japanese nurse Daisuke Mori was arrested, it was suspected because there were many medical malpractices in Japan.
At common law, the issue of Professional liability insurance is a subset of the law of negligence.