Duty of Care Requirements

Personal injury lawyer Kildare2

A common query that we often hear is what standard of care a medical practitioner needs to provide to their patients.

A duty of care and the required standard of care to be provided arises once either the hospital or the doctor themselves assume responsibility for their patient.

It is important to note that a doctor or medical practitioner is not considered to have failed in their duty towards a patient on mere proof that the patient’s condition has deteriorated or has not improved.

In ascertaining whether a medical practitioner has failed in their duty of care, the court will take into consideration a number of matters.

As set out by Finlay CJ in the case of Dunne (an infant) -v- the National Maternity Hospital and Jackson 

“if a medical practitioner charged with negligence defends his conduct by establishing that he followed a practice which was general, and which was approved by his colleagues of a similar specialisation and skill, he cannot escape liability if in reply the plaintiff established that such practice has inherent defects which ought to be obvious to any person giving the matter due consideration”.

In other words, a doctor or medical practitioner is guilty of failing in their duty and standard of care if it can be shown that no other doctor or medical practitioner of equal standing and skill would have made the same mistake if taking ordinary care. 

Should anyone have any queries in relation to this, please contact Powderly Solicitors on 01-6284333 or contactus@powderlysolicitors.ie.



Go to Top