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date: 17 November 2018

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the processes of litigation arising from medical malpractice liability, changes in tort doctrine, and judicial responses to medical injuries. It first considers physician liability, with emphasis on evidentiary requirements for proving the medical standard of care and how expert testimony on the standard of care has increasingly relied on practice guidelines that articulate the parameters of the standards of care. It then turns to the Affordable Care Act with its emphasis on “best practices” and “practice guidelines,” along with defenses that are available against a malpractice suit. The chapter also looks at the importance of informed consent in promoting patient sovereignty in medical decision-making and alternative dispute resolution as a tool for reducing the risks of malpractice litigation and jury trials. Finally, it discusses the liability of hospitals, taking into account the agency doctrine and corporate negligence as well as nonhospital system liability and nonphysician liability.

Keywords: medical malpractice liability, litigation, tort doctrine, medical injuries, physician liability, standard of care, expert testimony, Affordable Care Act, informed consent, alternative dispute resolution

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