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Medical Malpractice

How is the Standard of Care in Medical Malpractice Applied in the State of Texas?

Any medical professional who actively participates in the treatment and care of patients has an obligation and duty to adhere to a professionally established standard of care. When a professional fails to comply with the standard of care, the results can be devastating for the patient and the family. This can result in medical malpractice cases against the medical care provider(s). There is no medical definition for “standard of care” although the term is firmly established in law and is defined as “the caution that a reasonable person in similar circumstances would exercise in providing care to a patient” (The, 2007). To the physicians, the “standard of care” is the diagnostic and treatment process that a doctor should practice for a given illness, patient, and set of circumstances. The term “standard of care” represents an essential component of an action in medical malpractice in proof that the doctor in question failed to provide the required standard of care under the circumstances (Sullivan, W., 2003). Medical malpractice is a broad term generally used to describe any treatment, lack of treatment, or other departure from accepted standards of medical care, health care, or departure in safety on the part of a health care provider that causes and/or results in harm to a patient. In law, medical malpractice is considered a specific area within the general domain of negligence. It requires four conditions (elements) to be met for the plaintiff to recover damages. These conditions are, one, duty; second, breach of duty; third, harm; and lastly, causation. Medical malpractice or medical negligence occurs when a health care provider fails to provide care or treatment to the patient according to the…...

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