A doctor is being evaluated against the applicable standard of care and will be liable for any breach of that care. Liability is ultimately a function of causation as determined on the balance of probabilities. The number one most common misconception about Toronto liability and misdiagnosis malpractice cases is that any time a doctor makes some error it amounts to medical malpractice.
However, a doctor can make all sorts of errors during the course of their diagnosis, treatment, and any of their professional activities. What is necessary for those errors to amount to medical malpractice is an actual breach of the applicable standard of care.
Because the public may not be aware of what the applicable standard of care is, they may believe that the standard of care is a standard of perfection. A Toronto medical malpractice lawyer can counsel you through the process of defining liability and creating the most appropriate defense for you.
Our medical malpractice lawyers can meet with you in Toronto for a free initial consultation. Call (416) 364-2000
Toronto Standard of Care
The Toronto standard of care is tied to what a reasonable and competent doctor would do under the circumstances. This is a moving standard that changes under the circumstances of any given case, in relation to highly specific scientific indicia. The misconception that the standard of care is a standard of perfection with the one-size-fits-all applicability often leads people to believe that medical malpractice has occurred when in fact the doctor was doing their best under difficult and complex circumstances.
Toronto Medical Malpractice Liability Lawyer Near Me (416) 364-2000
Liability comes down to that standard of care and what a reasonable and competent doctor would be doing under the same circumstances. In terms of a malpractice diagnosis case, the doctor would be at fault for failing to do something if a reasonable and competent doctor faced with a patient presenting with the same conditions and same symptoms would have done something that the doctor failed to do.
For example, if a certain diagnostic task should be performed whenever a patient comes in a particular condition and the doctor fails to do that task and as a result the patient fails to be properly diagnosed and does not receive the right care, suffering harm as a result, then the doctor can be held liable. The liability in this situation is due to omitting those diagnostic steps that a reasonable and competent doctor should have taken.
The doctor could be liable for not looking for the right thing where that standard of a reasonable and competent doctor indicates that a doctor should be looking for and should be taking particular symptoms to indicate that various testing and various screening need to be performed. This happens a lot of the time in cancer patients; this happens a lot of the time in cases involving complex brain injuries as well, and the risk of liability due to misdiagnosis increases proportionally with the complexity of the condition that needs to be diagnosed.
Procedural Errors vs Misdiagnosis
The way that liability changes in terms of procedural errors during an operation is that an extremely precise analysis specific to the particular procedure is required to determine exactly the breach of the standard of care in relation to the doctor’s acts and omissions. To establish liability one would need to figure out what a doctor performing that operation under the circumstances should be doing to comply with that standard of care. Establishing liability is difficult because it requires the reconstruction of the specific circumstances in which the doctor is operating. This includes estimating the considerations that the doctor may have been weighing in their decision to conduct an operation in any particular way in relation to the risks that a patient is facing during the course of the operation.
With all of these conceptual factors in mind, malpractice charges require proof that the doctor’s acts or omissions breached the standard of care. The reconstructive reasoning necessary to refer to the circumstantial context of the procedural error is difficult to establish, whereas liability claims for prescription errors and misdiagnosis are somewhat easier to navigate on paper. Basically, the proof of liability in terms of operative error requires the highest degree of specialized consultation to understand the applicable standard of care. These are some of the hardest liability cases to prove.