Legal Definition and Related Resources of Malpractice

Meaning of Malpractice

The failure of one rendering professional services to exercise that degree of skill and learning commonly applied under all the circumstances in the community by the average prudent reputable member of the profession with the result of injury , loss or damage to the recipient of those services or to those entitled to rely upon them. The failure of the professional to exercise that degree of skill, care and diligence exercised by members of same profession practising in same or similar locality in light of present state of science or knowledge in that profession.

Malpractice Alternative Definition

Bad or unskillful practice in a physician or other professional person, whereby the health of the patient is injured. Physicians and surgeons impliedly contract that they are reasonably and ordinarily qualified to practice the medical profession, and for a failure to possess and exercise such qualifications they are liable. 17 Ind. 115; 21 Minn. 464; 75 N. Y. 12. Willful malpractice takes place when the physipan purposely administers medicines or performs an operation which he knows and expects will result in damage or death to the individual under his care; as in the case of criminal abortion. Elwell, Malprac. 243 et seq.; 2 Barb. (N. Y.) 216. Negligent malpractice comprehends those cases where there is no criminal or dishonest object, but gross negligence of that attention which the situation of the patient requires; as, if a physician should administer medicines, while in a state of intoxication, from which injury would arise to his patient. Ignorant malpractice is the administration of medicines calculated to do injury,, which do harm, and which a well-educated and scientific medical man would know were not proper in the case. Elwell, Malprac. 198 et seq.; 7 Barn. & G. 493, 497; 6 Bing. 440; 6 Mass. 134; 5 Gar. & P. 333; 1 Moody & R. 405; 5 Cox, C. G. 587.

Synonyms of Malpractice


  • breach of practice
  • breach of profession
  • carelessness
  • culpable professional neglect
  • dereliction of duty
  • improper professional action
  • improper professional conduct
  • injudicious treatment
  • injurious treatment by a professional
  • misconduct
  • professional error ofjudgment
  • professional laxness
  • professional misconduct
  • professional neglect
  • professional negligence
  • unprofessional conduct
  • unprofessional treatment
  • violation of professional code
  • violation of professional duty
  • Associated Concepts: legal malpractice
  • medical malpractice
  • professional malpractice

Related Entries of Malpractice in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Malpractice in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Malpractice in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Malpractice in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Malpractice in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

You might be also interested in these legal terms:

Mentioned in these terms



You might be interested in these references tools:

Resource Description
Malpractice in the Dictionary Malpractice in our legal dictionaries
Browse the Legal Thesaurus Find synonyms and related words of Malpractice
Legal Maxims Maxims are established principles that jurists use as interpretive tools, invoked more frequently in international law
Legal Answers (Q&A) A community-driven knowledge creation process, of enduring value to a broad audience
Related topics Malpractice in the World Encyclopedia of Law


This definition of Malpractice is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This entry needs to be proofread.

Vocabularies (Semantic Web Information)


Resource Description
Topic Map A group of names, occurrences and associations
Topic Tree A topic display format, showing the hierarchy
Sitemap Index Sitemap Index, including Taxonomies The URI of Malpractice (more about URIs)

English Spanish Translation of Malpractice

Mala praxis: Mala práctica

Find other English to Spanish translations from the Pocket Spanish English Legal Dictionary (print and online), the English to Spanish to English dictionaries (like Malpractice) and the Word reference legal translator.


This term is a noun.

Etimology of Malpractice

(You may find malpractice at the world legal encyclopedia and the etimology of more terms).

1670s, hybrid coined from mal- + practice; this term is also a noun.. Also used in law for “illegal action by which a person seeks a benefit for himself while in a position of trust” (1758).

Meaning of Malpractice in Spanish

Description/ translation of malpractice into Spanish: impericia en general; la impericia profesional se denomina también transactional malpractice[1]

Note: for more information on related terms and on the area of law where malpractice belongs (criminal procedure law), in Spanish, see here.

Notes and References

  1. Translation of Malpractice published by Antonio Peñaranda


See Also

  • Law Dictionaries.
  • Attorney Misconduct; Ethics, Legal; Health Care Law; Medical Malpractice; Physicians and Surgeons; Privileged Communication.

  • Posted


    , ,



    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *