Establishing standards of care: Locality rules or national standards

by C. Jerry Willis, JD

A trial lawyer provides his perspective on the issue

A commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association (June 20, 2007) discussed the merits of a national standard of care versus a locality standard of care. The authors advocated eliminating locality standards in favor of a national standard of care. They asserted that “[t]he purpose of medical malpractice law is to protect patients from substandard medical care and to compensate them for injuries sustained as a result of substandard care. Each medical malpractice case serves an additional function by further delineating the medical care that is legally acceptable in a particular field.”

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