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HOME > Korean J Prev Med > Volume 15(1); 1982 > Article
Original Article Physician's Responsibilities in Medical Dispute.
Joon Sang Lee, Baik Hi Choi
Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health 1982;15(1):17-32
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College of Medicine, Korea University, Korea.

A physician assumes toward his patient the obligation to use such reasonable care and skill as is commonly possessed and exercised by physicians in the same general lime of practice in the same or similar localities and to use his best judgment at the times. Medical disputes between physicians and patients are ever more increased in these days as human body happens to cause a variety of changes in body unlike the function of machine. Such increased trends of medical disputes became a problem in common across the word under the influence of affluent living standard, high consciousness of life value and right by today's people. The aim of this dissertation is oriented to forming a physician's responsibilities in medical-care accidents arising between physicians and patients. A general physician, for example, has not been negligent merely because a specialist might have treated the patient with greater skill and knowledge. However, the fact that a physician may have acted to the best of his ability will not avoid legal problems for damages resulting from substandard treatment, that is the degree of care and skill which is to be expected of the ordinary practitioner in his field of practice. The duty of a physician who is, or holds himself out to be, a specialist is greater in the field of his specialty than one who is a general physician. A patient's consent to routine medical procedures is implied from the fact that patient comes to the physician with a medical problem and voluntarily submits to the procedures. For the more serious medical procedures and for major operations, however, it is preferable for the physician to have the patient's consent in writing, to facilitate proof of the consent in the event of a dispute or litigation. Suppose that mistakes on the part of physicians are likely to be blamed in all cases of malpractice. Then it will create a sort of shrinkage in activities of medical treatment. There should be some limitation on excessive application of "The thing speaks for itself" on mistakes by physicians and availablity of cause and effect. It is a matter of complicity as well as a matter of importance to draw a definite boundary on responsibilities of physician. A series of further research on this particular aspect is strongly urged.

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JPMPH : Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health