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Generally, when giving a medico-legal analysis, a doctor looks at what is considered the "standard of care"- what a generally competent physician would expected to do in a given situation based on the current state of medical knowledge and practice. This may not necessarily be what is done in the "top" center in the country, but rather what is expected care in a given community.
Some physicians are willing to testify if the standard of care has been breached- but many refuse to do so, in support of colleagues. It becomes a somewhat tricky ethical issue- but the reality is that there are usually plenty of doctors willing to make such a statement- for a sufficient fee.
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Thank you very much for your input! It does seem tricky to find someone.
My mother took a fall in ICU room while being monitored for overnight after a brain surgery. 3 hrs after the fall her bain CAT scan looked normal. She was discharged anyway the same day while her face gradually swelled up to double its size. She then was found unconcious the next day at home. A subsequent CAT scan showed a large area of bleeding in the brain, which was explained to us as "contusion", bruising of the brain tissue as a result of the fall by her brain surgeon. She was in coma for 27 days as a result of it and is still in life care facility now with unpredictable neurological complications down the road. I am trying to find an neurologiocal expert among those she visited before to testify that it is normal for a delayed onset of bleeding after a hard fall. But I simply haven't heard back from anyone who's willing to tell the truth. I feel very upset and am trying to understand what prevents them from standing up and speaking up.
Well, it in part is that doctors understandably want to stick up for each other. A doctor who is known to testify against other doctors is really looked at poorly by his peers.
Having said that, most lawyers usually can find a doctor who can review a case and see if the standard of care was met. I am not a neurologist or a neurosurgeon so I cannot comment about the specifics here.
There are companies who do supply medico-legal consultants that may be able to review the case. If you just do a search on "medicolegal consulting" you will come up with many such companies. That may help you.
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As for what "prevents" doctors from speaking up- in large part it is the insane medicolegal environment in this country.
Again, I do not know the specifics of your case, and could not without reviewing all the records. But the truth is that the majority of malpractice suits are frivolous.
"Ambulance chasing" lawyers file lawsuits for almost any reason. The reality of medicine is sometimes there are bad outcomes. And doctors are just fed up with dealing with lawsuits- it puts their life through hell even if they did meet the standard of care.
So even in a case that may have merit, the general sense is doctors want to try not to help the lawyers.. At least some.... And frankly, I agree with that position.