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What duties do physicians have to prevent medication errors?

Sometimes, a health care professional in Florida will give a patient the wrong medication, wrong dosage of a medication or will not follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the medication. This could mean not only that a person's illness is not being properly treated, but it could even lead to a worsened condition. While the health care professional may not have made such a mistake on purpose, the fact of the matter is that they have a duty of care to meet with respect to their patients, and this includes ensuring that medication errors do not occur.

A doctor who provides a prescription to a patient may be considered a "learned intermediary." Basically, this means that due to their medical education and the information they obtained from the manufacturer of the drug, the doctor has the duty to determine which medications are appropriate for their patient. Therefore, when a doctor gives a patient the wrong type of medication or wrong dosage of a medication, causing the patient further harm, the patient may want to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Medical malpractice lawsuits can be complex. The testimony of expert witnesses is often necessary for plaintiffs to prove their case. Moreover, oftentimes the information that the lawsuit is based on is primarily found in medical reports that the defendant doctor wrote. And, sometimes a patient cannot pinpoint the exact cause of their harm. However, through the doctrine of "res ipsa loquitur," plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases may only need to prove that the harm they suffered could only have occurred because someone was negligent.

When a person is the victim of a medication error, the damages they suffer can affect them for the rest of their lives. Health care providers take an oath to do no harm, but they are only human and unfortunately make mistakes just like anyone else. However, when they are negligent in their mistakes, they should be held accountable.

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