Generally speaking, doctors owe their patients two duties: they must treat them in accordance with the standard of care and advise them of the consequences of any proposed treatment. If a doctor breaches either duty, they may be held accountable for any harm that ensues. As discussed in a recent ruling, however, they generally cannot pursue a claim for breach of fiduciary duty against a doctor that fails to uphold either duty. If you or a loved one suffered harm due to incompetent medical care, it is wise to meet with a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to determine your rights.
It is alleged that the plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the defendant hospital and defendant doctor on behalf of their incapacitated daughter. In their complaint, they set forth claims of medical malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty, and failure to provide sufficient warning. They alleged that the defendants intentionally deceived their daughter by not informing her that the medical devices used in her treatment were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The defendants requested a judgment as a matter of law regarding the count that alleged a breach of fiduciary duty.
Duties a Doctor Owes a Patient
The court ultimately granted the defendants’ motion and dismissed the plaintiffs’ breach of fiduciary duty claim. The court explained that the defendant doctor had two legally recognized duties towards the plaintiffs’ daughter as her doctor: (1) to treat her in the same manner that a reasonably prudent doctor with his specialty would have done in similar circumstances, and (2) to inform her of the consequences of a proposed treatment. Continue Reading ›