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December 1985

How to Defend Yourself in an Ophthalmic Malpractice Suit

Arch Ophthalmol. 1985;103(12):1793-1794. doi:10.1001/archopht.1985.01050120027013

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Ophthalmologists have shared in the increasing number of medical malpractice lawsuits. While it has been reported that ophthalmologists are subjected to fewer suits than other specialists, preventive measures can help to further reduce the incidence of lawsuits and to make successful defense more likely. Thorough defense is essential, since ophthalmic injuries are often disabling. As in all malpractice cases, the first line of defense lies with the physician.

WHAT IS MEDICAL MALPRACTICE?  In any medical malpractice action, in order to prevail, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant failed to follow the "standard of care" and that the plaintiff was injured as a result. In general, an ophthalmologist is required to exercise that degree of skill and care commonly used by reasonably well-qualified ophthalmologists practicing under the same or similar circumstances (and in some states, in the same geographic areas). A plaintiff proves his case by retaining a medical expert

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