There are few things more important in life than your health. Without this, you are unable to do most of the things you enjoy each day. It’s normal for people to pick up the odd bug, particularly during winter. Nonetheless, there may be occasions when more serious ailments impact you and you subsequently require medical intervention.
This is where doctors and other medical staff come in. These medical teams are supposed to make you better – or, at least, try their best to do so. They owe you a certain standard of care, which is not only ethical but legally required.
What is a doctor’s standard of care?
The duty to act
In some situations, doctors will have a considerable amount of time to diagnose you and come up with a treatment plan. In other instances, this is not the case. You may have been rushed into the emergency room after a car accident.
In such a scenario, time may be of the essence, and the doctor needs to make a fast and accurate diagnosis as well as treat you. If a doctor fails to act accordingly then this may be classified as negligence.
For instance, if you complain of a head injury but are sent home without scans or treatment, and later your condition worsens, this could be medical malpractice and it is almost certainly a breach of the doctor’s standard of care.
The duty to be competent
It takes many years of study and training to become a doctor. There is no shortcut. Not only that, but doctors are expected to keep up with constantly advancing medical technology.
If a doctor has failed to keep their knowledge up to date to the point that their methods are no longer safe, then they could be held liable for any harm suffered by you while under their care.
Essentially, the doctor’s standard of care amounts to a level of treatment that any person could reasonably expect to receive. If you feel that you have suffered because of medical negligence, make sure you look into your legal options.