Medical Legal 101 – The Final Verdict – Part 2

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Rahul -

I can see myself saying what that physician said on the stand, "I admit error. I shouldn't have done that," because in retrospect who wouldn't. Does this really doom your legal case? Can it not instead humanize the doctor?

Mike W. -

Expressing regret is a good idea, of course we all feel bad when there is an adverse outcome. But although admitting fault on the stand will make you a sympathetic defendant, it will also help decide the case for the plaintiff. In this specific case, the EP had already settled, it is just that this was not known to the jurors until the cardiology expert "blurted it out". In the end, the plaintiff was right, the patient's family received a "paltry amount" and unfortunately, this actually was likely as case of malpractice. I am happy to discuss more, there are SO many good learning points from this case of a multiple complaint patient - these 'well-appearing' patients are our toughest!

sayeh s. -

Facing a coroner inquest before( UK) in my opinion saying "I shouldn't have done that" sounds simplistic. Making decision is a multi factorial, complicated process which if we are not aware of the factors ( in this case the biases , triage, busy ED ..) we can't prevent them.

sayeh s. -

correction : " we can't prevent making bad decisions.

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