About The Standard Of Care In Medical Malpractice Cases
For most of the 20th Century and well into the current Century, Chris Powell has held medical professionals accountable for their medical errors litigating and settling countless medical malpractice cases. Attorney Chris Powell has vast experience representing those affected by medical negligence. Chris Powell has nearly five decades of experience in legal matters involving medical errors and defective medical devices.
All medical practitioners, such as doctors, surgeons, nurses, therapists, dentists, pharmacists, and medical facilities, owe patients a specific standard of care. All these different types of providers must possess the knowledge and exercise the skill of their peers. They have a legal duty and obligation to provide care that minimally rises to and meets the accepted standard of care.
In medical malpractice cases, a “standard of care” is an established and widely accepted medical protocol or custom for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. This concept and threshold require medical professionals to possess the same knowledge and skill of similar professionals. They are also required to exercise the same care customarily used in their profession or specialization.
The “standard of care” is a complicated and floating concept that depends on the circumstances of the treatment. A medical malpractice case involves a doctor's breach of a pre-established duty to follow a prescribed level of care. It is not surprising that most patients don't know what the standard of care is for any given illness or condition.
When medical providers fail in this duty, and the result is that a patient suffers some harm, a medical malpractice claim may exist. Any health care provider in Pennsylvania may be held legally responsible for acts of medical negligence, a legal cause of action that contains the elements of a specific duty, and its breach.
Examples of the breach of this duty include the misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose a medical condition, the negligent performance of medical or surgical procedures, the incorrect prescription and dispensing of medication, or care by a medical facility that is substandard.
Medical malpractice plaintiffs carry the burden of proving a violation or breach of the accepted standard of care, typically through the testimony of expert witnesses, professionals in the same field as the defendant, who must provide testamentary evidence or testify as to why the standard of care was violated by the defendant.
The use of expert witnesses is based on the theory that only a medical professional is qualified to determine whether actual malpractice occurred. Violations of the standard of care typically require a sworn statement by another physician attesting as an expert that the standard of care was breached.