Doctors and other medical professionals are legally required to give reasonable care and not cause any harm to the patient. They have a duty to follow certain steps to determine what’s wrong with a patient and find the cause of their illness or injury. From that point forward, they have protocols and procedures to follow which inform them of the best way to treat their patient. Before proceeding with any treatment plan, they need to explain all the steps to their patient along the way.
Following these guidelines keeps patients safe and informed of what’s happening to them. All of these steps, guidelines, and protocols are part of a broad set of legal standards referred to as “standards of care”. Medical standards of care are typically-accepted guidelines that professionals in the medical field all strive to operate by. When professionals don’t operate by accepted standards of care and a patient is hurt or suffers as a direct result, that patient may be legally entitled to sue for malpractice.