Aesthetic physicians learn how to provide expert care, assess patients and address complications. But they’re not generally taught about the law and how to avoid or navigate lawsuits, according to Mathew M. Avram, M.D., J.D., who presented on the topic of aesthetic treatments and the law at the 2017 Masters of Aesthetics symposium in August.
“It’s important to recognize that there are different ways that a physician can be liable when providing medical care,” says Dr. Avram, director of laser, cosmetic and dermatology surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, associate professor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School and president of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery. “One of the ways is under malpractice, or negligence, law. That basically holds that the patient can sue a physician for damages that they suffered if the physician did not perform the procedure within the standard of care that is required for that treatment. The other main way is lack of consent.”