IN THE NEWS: PHYSICIAN NOT NEGLIGENT IN CHOOSING ONE TREATMENT OVER ANOTHER
A personal injury lawsuit in the state of Wisconsin centered around the fact that infant L.B. was born with severe and permanent neurologic injuries. The mother filed suit against the obstetrician for failing to accurately trace the fetus’ heart rate during labor (therefore not discovering that the fetus had suffered a lack of oxygen).
In the course of the trial, the jury was instructed to consider the “alternative methods” doctrine, meaning that there are several different ways of determining oxygen levels. A physician who had chosen to use one particular method over another, using reasonable care, skill, and judgment, should not be found negligent. Based on the alternative methods concept, the jury found the obstetrician innocent, on the grounds that a doctor is at liberty to choose among recognized treatment methods. The case was appealed, but the verdict was upheld by the Supreme Court.
This Wisconsin case is of particular interest to Ramey & Hailey Law, where our attorneys have represented medical healthcare professionals on different legal challenges for almost three decades.
As licensed professionals, physicians are held to a high standard of conduct in the quality of medical care they deliver. Allegations of failing to provide an inappropriate level of care put a physician’s professional license and ability to practice medicine on the line. With a professional career and livelihood at stake, it is important to consult with an experienced trial attorney and be represented by effective legal counsel at every stage of a disciplinary proceeding.