The question has often been asked whether a doctor dining out is obligated to assist if a medical emergency arises in the restaurant. For Oregon doctors, as well as those in other states, certain conduct is expected while acting in a medical capacity. Doctors are obligated to adhere to state laws and accepted safety standards in the medical industry. They are also bound by a duty of care.
The answer to the question above is, ”No”– a doctor is not obligated to assist someone having a medical emergency in a restaurant or other public place. In fact, the duty of care laws only applies when a doctor has an established medical relationship with a patient, meaning the individual is officially under the doctor’s care. But if a doctor chooses to help someone having a medical emergency in a restaurant, any medical negligence that follows may constitute grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
Medical practice areas are also relevant
The duty of care requires a doctor to provide care that is consistent with a standard of care that is deemed reasonable. By that, the doctor’s care must at least meet the care that a reasonably competent and similarly trained doctor in the same field of medicine would provide. A doctor cannot be expected to have knowledge or skill outside his or her area of expertise. For example, a pediatrician cannot be expected to make diagnoses or recommend treatment that an oncologist would know to do and vice versa. However, doing so and providing incorrect advice could also lead to a malpractice claim.
Hospital administrators may also be held accountable for negligence
In certain cases, administrators at an Oregon hospital may be liable for damages that occur because of a doctor’s negligence. Medical malpractice claims often include numerous defendants, including doctors, nurses, lab technicians, hospital administrators and other staff members. Anyone who is uncertain whether grounds exist for filing a medical malpracticeclaim can obtain guidance from an attorney who has experience in this complicated area of legal practice.