Saturday, September 8, 2007

Protect Your Credibility

You should always be extremely careful about dictating material which could create a legal problem further down the line. Think, for a moment, how well you would hold up under cross examination by a trial lawyer who was determined to discredit you as a witness by concentrating on questionable statements in your reports.

The following sentences -- although dictated with the best of intentions -- could easily cause problems in a malpractice lawsuit:

  • "The patient is an 88-year-old who has outlived three physicians and is now working on Dr. M. as her general physician."

  • "It is Dr. D.'s opinion that she needs to stay away from doctors and we either need to figure this out or we are going to kill her with one of our procedures."

  • "The patient was specifically advised not to attempt to become pregnant by her physicians."

  • "The patient understood the high risk of the surgery as well as the family doctor."

[Cartoon #9 ]

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