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http://ssrn.com/abstract=347600
 
 

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Determining the Standard of Care in Medical Malpractice: The Physician's Perspective


John W. Ely


University of Iowa - Roy J. & Lucille A. Carver School of Medicine

Arthur J. Hartz


University of Iowa - Roy J. & Lucille A. Carver School of Medicine

Paul A. James


University of Iowa - Roy J. & Lucille A. Carver School of Medicine

Cynda A. Johnson


University of Iowa - Roy J. & Lucille A. Carver School of Medicine


Wake Forest Law Review, Vol. 37, No. 3, Fall 2002

Abstract:     
We convened a focus group of thirteen physicians and seven attorneys with court experience in malpractice cases to better understand the physician's perspective on determining the standard of care. We emphasized the role of the physician expert witness and whether malpractice cases should be decided on the basis of a "reasonable" standard of care (what a reasonable physician would have done) or on the basis of a "customary" standard of care (what physicians would customarily or typically do in similar circumstances). The physicians in this focus group favored the customary standard, fearing that a reasonable standard could easily migrate toward the ideal. The Authors were troubled by the paradox implied by determining the standard of care based on custom in the absence of an adequate mechanism for assessing what is customary. However, the focus group favored the current system in which expert witnesses tend to assume that they would have done what most physicians would do.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 15

Keywords: medical malpractice, standard of care

JEL Classification: K41

Accepted Paper Series


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Date posted: December 12, 2002  

Suggested Citation

Ely, John W. and Hartz, Arthur J. and James, Paul A. and Johnson, Cynda A., Determining the Standard of Care in Medical Malpractice: The Physician's Perspective. Wake Forest Law Review, Vol. 37, No. 3, Fall 2002. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=347600 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.347600

Contact Information

John W. Ely (Contact Author)
University of Iowa - Roy J. & Lucille A. Carver School of Medicine ( email )
Department of Family Medicine
200 Hawkins Drive, 01290-6 PFP
Iowa City, IA 52242-1097
United States
319-384-7765 (Phone)
319-384-7822 (Fax)
Arthur J. Hartz
University of Iowa - Roy J. & Lucille A. Carver School of Medicine ( email )
Department of Family Medicine
200 Hawkins Drive, 01290-6 PFP
Iowa City, IA 52242-1097
United States
Paul A. James
University of Iowa - Roy J. & Lucille A. Carver School of Medicine ( email )
Department of Family Medicine
200 Hawkins Drive, 01290-6 PFP
Iowa City, IA 52242-1097
United States
Cynda A. Johnson
University of Iowa - Roy J. & Lucille A. Carver School of Medicine ( email )
Department of Family Medicine
200 Hawkins Drive, 01290-6 PFP
Iowa City, IA 52242-1097
United States
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