Determining Standard of Care
Malpractice, or negligence, is a breach of a duty that causes harm to the patient, according to Dr. Avram.
“The duty that is required is a reasonable duty of care. …and you have expert witnesses that determine what the standard of care is for a given procedure,” he says.
The plaintiff and defense would have expert testimony in a trial. Other sources for establishing standard of care might be in medical textbooks, in the literature or according to medical society-established guidelines.
“So, there isn’t one-stop-shopping for determining what the appropriate treatment is,” Dr. Avram says. “It depends on the circumstances and the care being provided to that patient. …the law uses the term ‘reasonable,’ and reasonable is not a very specific term. It’s something that requires discussion.”