the duty of care owned to a telepatient is much the same as that owed to a patient treated by conventional means since it depends upon the nature of the patient-doctor relationship, which is similar in most respects.">

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Telemedicine Negligence

Posted on:12/12/2015
The word telemedicine signifies medicine delivered at a distance. The patient and the doctor need not be sitting face to face in a room. The doctor can be located anywhere in the world.



Although there is no physical contact between the doctor and the patient in case of telemedicine, it does not mean that the doctor cannot be held liable for any injury the patient may suffer as a result of the doctor’s negligence.

 

The duty of care owned to a telepatient is much the same as that owed to a patient treated by conventional means since it depends upon the nature of the patient-doctor relationship, which is similar in most respects. Thus the doctor may incur liability at any time after accepting responsibility for the patient’s treatment irrespective of any contractual arrangement or payment for care.

 

Most cases of negligence in telemedicine arise from missed diagnoses since these grounds are easiest to identify. Examples include not testing a patient for a condition indicated by their history or mistakes made in prescribing the correct drugs and dosage.

 

The plaintiff in a telemedicine negligence claim must convince the court that the injury followed directly from the negligence of the defendant and would not have occurred but for this negligence. This is often referred to as the but for test.

 

 

 

Medical Profession and Negligence

 

A patient who is injured through medical care may have a right under law, to claim compensation from those responsible. Debate continues about such injuries and the responsibilities of doctors in relation to them and their consequences.

 

In the view of the medical profession such an injury or adverse outcome is a complication or untoward result of treatment or intervention which is unpredicted and which in some way reflects a poor standard of medical care. This view excludes adverse outcomes which relate to recognized or predictable complications such as wound infection after bowel surgery, allergic reactions to drugs or those related to the natural progression of an underlying disease.

 

The legal view appears to be much broader and encompasses any injury or adverse outcome, event or result which might justify a claim for compensation or which can be ascribed to something a doctor did or failed to do in offering and providing medical care for a patient. However, in law a claim for negligence only arises if there has been a breach of the required standard of care.

 

Negligence actions often arise from matters of diagnosis or subsequent procedures or management. The failure to obtain consent may also result in actions in negligence


  
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