The ‘Professional Judgment’ Rule: The Line between Medical Judgment and Deviation from Good Medical Practice
The “professional judgment” rule shields medical providers from the imposition of liability merely because a treatment that a doctor elected to pursue proved ineffective.
It is a balmy Friday morning in June. You feel a bit giddy because your assistant scheduled the last procedure for 2 p.m. Your kids left for summer camp last week, and you have a great early dinner with friends planned. It’s rained a little during the week, but the weekend forecast is glorious. Nothing is going to ruin your warm, relaxing spring weekend. Nothing, until your junior partner — only years out of his fellowship — knocks on your office door and gives notice. Can he do that? There goes the weekend.
Over the past decades, there has been a steady increase in litigation against long-term care facilities and hospitals for the development, progression and management of decubitus ulcers. Recently, there has been an increasing trend to include attending physicians as defendants in these actions.
In recent years, new anticoagulants such as Pradaxa (dabigatran), Xarelto (rivaroxaban) and Eliquis (apixaban) have been approved by the FDA. They have benefits over older drugs such as Coumadin (warfarin), as they do not require frequent blood monitoring. Apart from their FDA-approved uses, these drugs are being used “off-label” to address conditions for which they have not been formally tested.
Can an employer prohibit a male employee from wearing an earring? What if a female employee wants to wear a headscarf? Can an employer refuse to hire an applicant because he or she has a tattoo?
The effort to reduce colon cancer deaths is endowed with a unique opportunity. With screening by colonoscopy, lesions can be removed before they become cancerous. People age 50 and older are recommended to undergo colonoscopy, and the procedure is typically repeated thereafter at varying intervals. Consequently, millions of colonoscopy procedures are performed in the United States each year.
The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak is an international threat that has now reached the shores of the United States.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Sec. 6002, once referred to as “The Sunshine Act” and now known as “Open Payments,” establishes a disclosure program on a national scale that promotes transparency of the financial relationships between the medical industry (“reporting entities”) and physicians and teaching hospitals.
The Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC), a branch of the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), has recently undertaken a more aggressive approach to investigate and, in some cases, begin disciplinary action against physicians who have failed to update their New York State Physician Profile.
The volume of lawsuits against pediatricians appears to be relatively low. However, the exposure may be substantial because a large portion of lawsuits filed against pediatricians claim the injury includes brain damage. Based on a lifetime of pain, suffering, as well as enormous special damages for medical care and therapies, these suits often translate into a larger monetary exposure.