[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
August 14, 1996

Another Standard of Care—The Patient

Author Affiliations

Salina, Kan

JAMA. 1996;276(6):450. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540060026021

To the Editor.  —Several years ago I asked an administrator of our state malpractice insurance fund to define "standard of care." He said that he had come to the conclusion that there was no standard of care. I didn't understand his comment until I read "Standards of Care" by Dr Argy.1 There is no one standard, there are several.I would propose a standard not mentioned in the article: the patient's standard of care. This is the standard expected of me, the physician, by the patient. It is the standard by which the patient judges my care as a physician. Indeed, there have been instances when I did not meet the other standards of care defined by Argy, including the personal, practical, and, if challenged, medicolegal standards, but I met the standard set by the patient. It is the implied standard I've met when the patient compliments my care;