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Medical Malpractice

Discovery Techniques in Medical Malpractice Cases

In medical malpractice cases, “discovery” is the term used to describe the process of sharing information about the case between the parties to the case. Discovery is essential to a medical malpractice case. It is how the plaintiff develops his or her case and how the defendant prepares his or her defense. There are many discovery methods employed in medical malpractice cases. Each method is governed by rules that the parties must follow. Judges will intervene if any party violates the discovery rules. Three of the most popular discovery techniques are described below.

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Liability For Administering Drugs

When prescribing drugs to treat a patient, a physician is expected to use the same standard of care and skill that is normally possessed and exercised under the same circumstances by physicians in good standing in the same or similar locations. In most cases, a doctor is liable for injuries to a patient resulting from the administration of the wrong drug. Some courts have found that the manufacturers’ inserts containing use recommendations are prima facie evidence of the standard of care to be followed by physicians in using the medication, but other courts have concluded that this information from manufacturers is admissible only as some evidence as to the standard of care, not rising to the level of prima facie evidence.

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The Privacy Of Your Medical Records

What Do Medical Records Consist Of?

Both state and federal laws require that hospitals and other health care institutions maintain medical records of all patients they treat. Medical records consist of all information written down by a physician or other provider during office visits, including information the patient tells the physician regarding lifestyle habits, family history, and past medical problems. Medical records also consist of hospital records, laboratory test results, and x-rays. Basically any communication committed to writing regarding a patient’s care is part of the medical record. Medical facilities and physicians are required by law to provide patients access to and/or a copy of their medical records upon request.

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Veterinarians

Although some courts have found that the concept of medical malpractice does not apply to veterinarians, many have concluded that the concepts of professional negligence apply based on the conduct of a veterinarian in the performance of his/her professional services. The practice of veterinary medicine, like the practices of medicine and law, require specialized education, knowledge, and skills, and veterinarians have a duty to use their skills in the same manner that would be ordinarily expected of other careful, skillful veterinarians either in the locality or in the more extended community.