California’s ‘Standard of Care’ is without any Standard

There is no Medical definition for the imaginary Standard of care, although the term is firmly established in law…

Thus with no clear Medical definition for Standard of Care, it remains unclear how this mainly legal concept of standard of care weighs up and compares in status to consensus statements or clinical guidelines that are secured in evidence-based medicine and produced by a representative organization or authoritative medical body.

At this time, any physician in California can be disciplined for correctly diagnosing and treating a patient. In such matters, the Medical Board can find the accused physician guilty for not complying with a “Standard of Care”, an imaginary standard unknown to Medical Professionals.

Primary Use
This Standard is primarily used by the Medical Board(s) and the ‘litigation community’ to inflict Financial and Emotional harm (aka Disciplinary Actions) on Physicians and other Healthcare providers. The Board establishes “Negligence” of a Doctors and other Healthcare providers by claiming that the doctor did not comply with the Standard of Care (an imaginary and bogus standard).

Principal Criticism
The principal criticism is that the ‘Standard of Care’ has extended beyond its intended limits, and allows the standard in law to be set subjectively by expert witnesses.

For example: This Standard is primarily used to prove Negligence of a physician but this is clearly against the intent of such imaginary standard. In the case of Maynard, Lord Scarman stated that:

“For the realm of diagnosis and treatment, negligence is NOT established by preferring one respectable body of professional opinion to another.”

Who are Expert Witness
Despite, the Supreme Court has set some conditions to determine who can be an expert witness, as a matter of practice, Expert Witness are doctors ‘paid’ by the Medical Board and the office of Attorney General. Generally, expert witness has same or very similar qualification as any other doctor. In some cases, the expert witness had even lesser qualification (than the doctor whom the expert witness will judge).

An expert witness does not see a patient, nonetheless, the witness doctor is ‘assumed’ to be expert merely by reviewing medical records of a patient. A ‘victim physician’ is ‘conveniently’ disciplined by relying on the report of such expert witness.

Wrongful Disciplinary Conviction(s)
The imaginary ‘Standard of Care’ is a primary mechanism of wrongful disciplinary conviction(s) of qualified physicians.

Medical Board has set of physicians (expert witness) who get money from the Medical Board and write a report to ‘conveniently’ discipline physicians.

Since the expert witness is working for the Medical Board, the opinion of the expert witness is deemed as Standard and the victim doctor is disciplined for NOT complying with the imaginary ‘Standard of Care’.
That is how it is done in California.

Deputy Attorney General’s Question to the Expert Witness
In some of the cases when the ‘paid’ expert witness CANNOT even accuse the doctor of violation of the bogus Standard of Care, the Deputy Attorney General would ask the expert witness,

“How about we discipline the doctor for Protection of Public”?

 References;
1) What does the Medical Community Mean by “Standard of Care”
http://jco.ascopubs.org/content/27/32/e192

2) Modern Era of Discipline of Physicians
(http://www.scribd.com/doc/140078140/Modern-Era-of-Discipline-of-Physicians-in-California)

3) Meeting of Defense Attorney(s) of Northern California, Deputy Attorney General & Expert Witness; Walnut Creek, California (2011)

Author; Rehan Sheikh

More on Selective Regulation of Healthcare and Healthcare Professionals
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