In medical malpractice cases doctors and health care professional are expected to act toward patients in a particular manner. If doctors do not follow this requirement they face the potential of breaching the duty owed to their patient. The Breach of duty owed in medical malpractice cases is important to consider as it could very well be negligence by the doctor that treated you. As you will see in this article, the standard of care is very important so patients feel they are being treated right and receiving the treatment they deserve and need. Failing to provide patients with acceptable standard of care leads to negligence which will hold the doctor, it’s staff and the hospital responsible. But as you will find out below if the doctor did not act reasonable when treating you and breached the standard of care then you may very well have a medical malpractice case.
You may have experienced breach of duty by a doctor or know a friend or family member who has experienced breach of duty. It is not okay and you definitely want to reach out to any attorney as soon as you know of this negligence to report it and take action.
The duty owed by the doctor or other health care professional—that which is ordinarily used by reasonably well-qualified doctors or other health care professional—defines how the doctor or health care professional is required to act toward the patient. This is known as the standard of care. If the doctor, nurse, hospital, etc., does not act in conformity with the standard of care, then she/he has breached the duty owed to the patient and is negligent.
The standard of care can be defined through a number of sources. First, medical literature often defines the standard of care for a medical professional. Medical libraries and online resources such as PubMed are excellent sources to determine what the standard of care is for any type of medical professional. Second, internal policies, contracts, and government regulations can be used to evidence the standard of care owed by a medical professional. Ultimately, however, the patient’s medical expert witness (with some exceptions) will provide testimony based on their education, training, and experience regarding what is required of the medical professional and if the doctor committed medical malpractice by not complying with the standard of care.
There are many examples of medical professionals breaching their duty to their patients: ignoring or misreading laboratory results, failing to account for a patient’s medical history, failing to warn a patient of known risks, failing to review the patient’s current medications, failing to adequately monitor or treat symptoms, or prescribing contraindicated medications. A poor medical result, however, does not mean that the doctor or medical provider committed malpractice. Your doctor or medical provider must have acted in a manner that was not reasonable and a breach of the standard of care.