The strict legal definition is: a misconduct by a professional, such as a lawyer, a doctor, a dentist, or an accountant. The failure to meet a standard of care or standard of conduct that is recognized by a profession reaches the level of malpractice when a client or patient is injured or damaged because of error.
What is the standard of care?
The standard of care formerly was considered to be the customary practice of a particular area or locality. Most states have modified the “locality rule” into an evaluation of the standard of practice in the same or similar locality, combined with an examination of the state of development of medical science at the time of the incident. This modification has taken place as medicine has become increasingly uniform and national in scope. A majority of states define the standard of conduct as that degree of skill and learning ordinarily possessed and used by other members of the profession.
In the Layne case, the patient’s lawyer, Joe Bragg, offers expert testimony that both Dr. Galway and the hospital’s nurses breached the standard of care, letting his heart sac fill with fluid, causing him to slip into a coma.
Kristen and Stern offer rebuttal testimony from a cardiologist and a nursing supervisor. In reality they both probably would have a surgeon and Kristen wouldn’t use her own hospital’s employee.
But I didn’t want to write a legal War and Peace and condensed the trial. They might or might not use a joint expert like Dr. Ettinger, and I thought his possible treachery added to the drama, giving Kristen and, hopefully the reader, one more thing to worry about.
Read more on Kristen Kerry,
and thoughts from author Steve E Clark at http://www.KristenKerryNovelsOfSuspense.com