Most people go to medical professionals for care because heath care providers are generally understood as being the people who are most capable of making sound judgments regarding a person's health. The specialization within the medical world often means that certain health care providers are even more qualified than others to prescribe treatment for particular issues.
Even though a large amount of knowledge is needed to earn the privilege to care for the health of patients, the medical body of knowledge is always developing. New discoveries are made often and preexisting treatments are replaced with newer, hopefully better methods.
As medical professionals, doctors have a responsibility to not only know what the current methods of treatment are, but also to be aware of developments in the world of medicine and new methods of treating ailments. Failure to stay informed about new information may legally count as negligence.
A recent legal case was filed in Pennsylvania regarding this issue. The woman was believed to have died as a result of the treatment that was prescribed for her by her doctor, but the woman's now widowed husband claims that the doctor ignored some of her test results and new research regarding the chosen treatment. If this is the case, it is possible that the doctor did not meet the standard of care.
Standard of care
When it comes to determining medical negligence, a large determining factor is whether or not the health care provider met the standard of care. This means that their medical decisions are made with any knowledge that a "reasonable" person would have made in their situation. This could include,
· Knowledge of the medical condition
· An awareness and understanding of relevant research in the field
· An understanding of the patients medical history
Failure to take all relevant information into consideration when making a medical decision can result in dire consequences for both the patient and for the medical professional who directed the patient's care.
While these types of situations do happen, proving them can require a certain amount of expertise. If you or anyone you know is potentially facing a medical malpractice claim, it is highly recommended that you obtain the services of a legal professional who specializes in this area of the law.