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