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4th Apr
Posted by: debbie

Bill would change medical negligence definition

Medical Injury Claims UK

Pittsburgh business times reports 

Emergency room doctors would be held to a different standard of negligence than other physicians under state legislation sponsored by Rep. Bryan Cutler, a Republican from Lancaster County.

House Bill 804 would raise the standard of evidence required in medical liability actions involving emergency care, which is the same as those practicing in non-emergency settings such as primary care. The bill would change the standard to gross negligence from simple negligence and require that errors and omissions related to that emergency care be proven by clear and convincing evidence.

Using the same definition of negligence for doctors in the emergency room and physician’s office is not fair, Pennsylvania Medical Society President Bruce MacLeodsaid in a prepared statement. MacLeod is an emergency room doctor at West Penn Hospital in Bloomfield.

“Holding emergency medicine providers to the same standard as providers who have those advantages is fundamentally unjust and invites a host of unwarranted lawsuits,” MacLeod said. “Providers (in an emergency setting) must make immediate lifesaving decisions without the benefit of a prior relationship to the patient and often without any knowledge of the patient’s medical history.”

A hearing on the bill was held Wednesday in Harrisburg. PMS supports the legislation.

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