Understanding how the medical field is held accountable from a legal perspective is not always the easiest thing to comprehend. All industries are expected to adhere to rules and regulations of state and country, most of which are in place to ensure the safety and health of the public. There are laws in place that can help hold medical professionals or facilities accountable for their medical decisions.
One of these facets of the law revolves around the notion of standard of care. Standard of care is a measurement in which medical professionals and facilities are expected to meet or exceed. The standard of care is considered to have been met when a physician or facility acts in accordance with how other colleagues would treat, diagnose or otherwise care for a patient if they were in their care. If a person or facility fails to meet the standard of care, it means they were otherwise negligent, in that they did not act in accordance with how their colleagues would have acted.
A failure to meet a standard of care on behalf of a medical professional or medical facility could easily result injury. For example, if a part of the patient’s medical history was overlooked, this could lead to a misdiagnosis. Or, if a medical facility’s equipment was found to have not be properly cared for, a patient could develop an infection. The list goes on and on.
There can be several ways to prove that the standard of care was not met on behalf of a medical professional or facility. By comparing the doctor’s actions with those of another doctor in the same situation, it could prove that a misstep was made. Also, the injuries that one suffers could be evidence enough as they can be telling as to the cause. While a medical person or facility’s actions may not have been intentional, they could be negligent, nonetheless. If you have been injured due to medical negligence, you may wish to speak with an attorney to discuss the possibility of filing a lawsuit against the doctor or hospital who treated you.
Source: FindLaw, “Standard of Care: Treatment and Surgery,” Accessed August 21, 2017