Dr. Goldberg is Director of Skin Laser & Surgery Specialists of New York and New Jersey, Director of Mohs Surgery and laser research, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, and Adjunct Professor of Law, Fordham Law School.
Dr. Derm recently performed a fairly simple excision, discussed blood thinners, but failed to ask his patient about “natural” herbal intake. The patient did not take any prescription blood thinners, but did take high daily dosages of garlic and ginkgo. A lawsuit was brought against Dr. Derm. Can he really have liability for all the things people ingest these days?
It is important to note that where there are two or more recognized methods of diagnosing or treating the same condition, a physician does not fall below the standard of care by using any of the acceptable methods even if one method turns out to be less effective than another method.
Much has been written and discussed over the last decade about accountability, particularly as it applies to the issue of liability for medical decision making in the care and treatment of healthcare plan enrollees and beneficiaries.
Although the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009 authorized initial grants and incentives to promote “meaningful use” of electronic health records (EHRs) by providers, one of the potential risks that has not been given much discussion is the risk of medical malpractice liability.
If a patient’s procedure uses a device that is not FDA-approved, or is FDA-approved for another purpose, or is experimental, must the patient be so advised by the physician to provide appropriate informed consent? Courts have wrestled with this matter in a number of legal opinions.
Dr. Surgery undertook a weekend blepharoplasty course at a well-respected, nationally recognized occuloplastic surgery program. He has since performed three procedures. Dr. Surgery covered the risks with his patients and received both oral and written consent. His third patient unfortunately suffers the rare complication of retrobulbar hematoma and blindness and sues. Should he be concerned?