2020 Georgia Code
Title 51 - Torts
Chapter 1 - General Provisions
§ 51-1-27. Recovery for Medical Malpractice Authorized

Universal Citation: GA Code § 51-1-27 (2020)

A person professing to practice surgery or the administering of medicine for compensation must bring to the exercise of his profession a reasonable degree of care and skill. Any injury resulting from a want of such care and skill shall be a tort for which a recovery may be had.

(Orig. Code 1863, § 2915; Code 1868, § 2922; Code 1873, § 2973; Code 1882, § 2973; Civil Code 1895, § 3831; Civil Code 1910, § 4427; Code 1933, § 84-924.)

Cross references.

- Time limitations for bringing of actions for medical malpractice, § 9-3-70 et seq.

Giving of consent for surgical or medical treatment, T. 31, C. 9.

Observance of provisions of "living wills" by physicians and other health-care professionals, § 31-32-7.

Recovery in tort for malpractice of chiropractor, § 43-9-16.

Regulation of practice of physicians generally, § 43-34-20 et seq.

Suspension of license to practice medicine and other disciplining of physicians, § 43-34-37.

Law reviews.

- For article, "No-Fault Insurance for Injuries Arising From Medical Treatment: A Proposal for Elective Coverage," see 24 Emory L.J. 21 (1975). For article analyzing the trend in this country toward no-fault liability, see 25 Emory L.J. 163 (1976). For article, "Baby Doe Cases: Compromise and Moral Dilemma," see 34 Emory L.J. 545 (1985). For annual survey of law of torts, see 38 Mercer L. Rev. 351 (1986). For article, "State of Emergency: Why Georgia's Standard of Care in Emergency Rooms is Harmful to Your Health," see 45 Ga. L. Rev. 275 (2010). For article, "Non-Physician vs. Physician: Cross-Disciplinary Expert Testimony in Medical Negligence Litigation - Who Knows the Standard of Care?," see 35 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 679 (2019). For note, "Summary Judgment in Medical Malpractice Actions," see 7 Ga. St. B. J. 470 (1971). For note, "Informed Consent: The Illusion of Patient Choice," see 23 Emory L.J. 503 (1974). For comment on Specht v. Gaines, 65 Ga. App. 782, 16 S.E.2d 507 (1941), see 4 Ga. B. J. 49 (1942). For comment on Saffold v. Scarborough, 91 Ga. App. 628, 86 S.E.2d 649 (1955), holding that the running of the statute of limitations for medical malpractice was properly postponed due to allegations of fraud, and suit for alleged malpractice instituted within two years after the discovery of such fraud was not barred, see 18 Ga. B. J. 79 (1955). For comment on Carroll v. Griffin, 96 Ga. App. 826, 101 S.E.2d 764 (1958), affirming a verdict for defendant-doctor when patient failed to prove he had been abandoned by the physician, see 21 Ga. B. J. 105 (1958). For comment on Hayes v. Brown, 108 Ga. App. 360, 133 S.E.2d 102 (1963), see 26 Ga. B. J. 456 (1964). For comment on Gian-Cursio v. State, Epstein v. State, 180 So.2d 396 (Fla. 1965), as to the appropriate school of practice for expert witnesses testifying in chiropractor malpractice cases, see 18 Mercer L. Rev. 292 (1966). For comment, "Legislative Limitations on Medical Malpractice Damages: The Chances of Survival," see 37 Mercer L. Rev. 1583 (1986). For comment, "Medical Expert Systems and Publisher Liability: A Cross-Contextual Analysis," see 43 Emory L.J. 731 (1994). For comment, "Georgia's Telemedicine Laws and Regulations: Protecting Against Health Care Access," see 68 Mercer L. Rev. 489 (2017).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

ANALYSIS

  • General Consideration
  • Applicability to Special Cases
  • Pleading and Practice
General Consideration

Basis for a malpractice action is provided in this section. Hayes v. Brown, 108 Ga. App. 360, 133 S.E.2d 102 (1963).

Malpractice defined.

- Malpractice is a particular form of negligence which consists in not applying to the exercise of the practice of medicine that degree of care and skill which is ordinarily employed by the profession generally under similar conditions and like surrounding circumstances. Johnson v. Myers, 118 Ga. App. 773, 165 S.E.2d 739 (1968).

Cause of action for malpractice brought either in tort or in contract.

- Under Georgia law, malpractice actions may be brought either in tort or in contract and when a physician undertakes to treat a patient, even when there is no express agreement, an implied contract arises and the doctor impliedly warrants that the doctor possesses the requisite skill to perform the treatment undertaken and that the doctor will exercise ordinary skill and care. Scott v. Simpson, 46 Ga. App. 479, 167 S.E. 920 (1933); Wolfe v. Virusky, 306 F. Supp. 519 (S.D. Ga. 1969), rev'd on other grounds, 470 F.2d 831 (5th Cir. 1972).

Elements of liability.

- There are three essential elements imposing liability upon which recovery is bottomed: (1) the duty inherent in the doctor-patient relationship; (2) the breach of that duty by failing to exercise the requisite degree of skill and care; and (3) that this failure be the proximate cause of the injury sustained. Negligence alone is insufficient to sustain recovery. It must be proven that the injury complained of proximately resulted from such want of care or skill. A bare possibility of such result is not sufficient. Goggin v. Goldman, 209 Ga. App. 251, 433 S.E.2d 85 (1993).

In a medical malpractice case, the trial court erred in denying the doctor's motion for summary judgment because, even though the medical records listed the doctor as the child's pediatrician and the coding summary indicated that the doctor provided certain treatments to the child, the director of medical records for the medical center stated in an affidavit that, because the parent had not selected a pediatrician, the pediatrician who was on call at the time of the baby's birth was assigned automatically as the admitting and attending physician in the child's chart; the doctor presented evidence that the doctor did not treat the mother or the child; and the mother failed to establish the existence of a doctor-patient relationship. Tomeh v. Bohannon, 329 Ga. App. 596, 765 S.E.2d 743 (2014).

There are three essential elements imposing liability upon which recovery is bottomed: (1) the duty inherent in the doctor-patient relationship; (2) the breach of that duty by failing to exercise the requisite degree of skill and care; and (3) that this failure is the proximate cause of the injury sustained. Hawkins v. Greenberg, 166 Ga. App. 574, 304 S.E.2d 922 (1983).

Sexual relationship with a patient.

- Patient could not bring a medical malpractice claim under O.C.G.A. § 51-1-27 against a family doctor for interference with the patient's marriage, loss of affection, or depression and anxiety that resulted from the doctor having an affair with the patient's wife because O.C.G.A. § 51-1-17 abolished torts claims for adultery and alienation of affections. The patient failed to allege an error of professional skill or judgment with regard to the doctor's care. Witcher v. McGauley, 316 Ga. App. 574, 730 S.E.2d 56 (2012).

Physician's implied contract.

- Whenever a physician undertakes to treat a patient, an implied contract arises that the physician possesses the necessary ordinary skill and experience possessed by those who practice the profession, and that the physician will use such ordinary care and skill in treating the patient, and likewise an implied promise or obligation arises that such patient will compensate the physician in a reasonable sum for such services. Scott v. Simpson, 46 Ga. App. 479, 167 S.E. 920 (1933).

This section is applicable to physician who specializes in administering X-ray treatment. Kuttner v. Swanson, 59 Ga. App. 818, 2 S.E.2d 230 (1939); Mason v. Hall, 72 Ga. App. 867, 35 S.E.2d 478 (1945).

Provisions of this section apply also to a licensed dentist in the practice of the dentist's profession. Bryan v. Grace, 63 Ga. App. 373, 11 S.E.2d 241 (1940); Specht v. Gaines, 65 Ga. App. 782, 16 S.E.2d 507 (1941).

This section is applicable to chiropractor who performs acts usually done by surgeon, and the giving of this section in charge is not error even if the chiropractor had done no act of surgery or administering medicine. Mims v. Ragland, 59 Ga. App. 703, 2 S.E.2d 174 (1939); Gaines v. Wolcott, 119 Ga. App. 313, 167 S.E.2d 366 (1969).

Impact rule does not apply to medical malpractice actions.

- Trial court should not have granted a psychiatrist summary judgment in a patient's medical malpractice action because the court erred in applying the impact rule; the medical malpractice statute, O.C.G.A. § 51-1-27, which provides that "any injury" resulting from the breach of a physician's duty is a compensable injury, is not limited by the application of the "impact rule," and there is no rational basis for applying the rule to causes of action sounding in medical malpractice. Bruscato v. O'Brien, 307 Ga. App. 452, 705 S.E.2d 275 (2010).

Policy concerns traditionally given for having the impact rule and denying recovery for emotional distress unrelated to physical injuries are not present in medical malpractice cases because such cases require a physician-patient relationship between the defendant and the plaintiff; consequently, there is no question to be resolved regarding the emotional impact of the defendant's alleged negligence on third parties or bystanders, nor is there concern about a "flood of litigation" arising from such negligence, and the concern about avoiding fraudulent or frivolous lawsuits is already addressed by the strict pleading requirements of O.C.G.A. § 9-11-9.1, the purpose of which is to reduce the number of frivolous malpractice suits being filed. Bruscato v. O'Brien, 307 Ga. App. 452, 705 S.E.2d 275 (2010).

Requisite standard of care and skill is that employed by profession generally.

- Standard of care and skill fixed by the statute, when applied to the facts and circumstances of any particular case, must be taken and considered to be such a degree of care and skill as, under similar conditions and like surrounding circumstances, is ordinarily employed by the profession generally. Radcliffe v. Maddox, 45 Ga. App. 676, 165 S.E. 841 (1932); Kuttner v. Swanson, 59 Ga. App. 818, 2 S.E.2d 230 (1939); Lord v. Claxton, 62 Ga. App. 526, 8 S.E.2d 657 (1940); Bryan v. Grace, 63 Ga. App. 373, 11 S.E.2d 241 (1940); Specht v. Gaines, 65 Ga. App. 782, 16 S.E.2d 507 (1941); Mason v. Hall, 72 Ga. App. 867, 35 S.E.2d 478 (1945); Webb v. Sandoz Chem. Works, Inc., 85 Ga. App. 405, 69 S.E.2d 689 (1952); Hayes v. Brown, 108 Ga. App. 360, 133 S.E.2d 102 (1963); Rahn v. United States, 222 F. Supp. 775 (S.D. Ga. 1963); Mull v. Emory Univ., Inc., 114 Ga. App. 63, 150 S.E.2d 276 (1966); Starr v. Fregosi, 370 F.2d 15 (5th Cir. 1966); Williams v. Ricks, 152 Ga. App. 555, 263 S.E.2d 457 (1979); Fain v. Moore, 155 Ga. App. 209, 270 S.E.2d 375 (1980); Robertson v. Emory Univ. Hosp., 611 F.2d 604 (5th Cir. 1980); Wagner v. Timms, 158 Ga. App. 538, 281 S.E.2d 295 (1981); Blount v. Moore, 159 Ga. App. 80, 282 S.E.2d 720 (1981); Hawkins v. Greenberg, 159 Ga. App. 302, 283 S.E.2d 301 (1981), aff'd, 166 Ga. App. 574, 304 S.E.2d 922 (1983); but see Felix v. State, 271 Ga. 534, 523 S.E.2d 1 (1999).

Reasonable belief standard.

- Standard determining whether a procedure was "therapeutically necessary" is whether the doctor exercised that degree of care, skill, and diligence which any other surgeon in the community would be required to employ in reaching a decision under the same or similar circumstances, in other words, the reasonable belief standard. Davidson v. Shirley, 616 F.2d 224 (5th Cir. 1980).

Standard not limited to local practices.

- This section, which provides the "reasonable degree of care and skill" standard in the practice of medicine, does not further circumscribe the requirement by limiting it to locality. Murphy v. Little, 112 Ga. App. 517, 145 S.E.2d 760 (1965); Williams v. Ricks, 152 Ga. App. 555, 263 S.E.2d 457 (1979).

Georgia law requires evidence of compliance with the standards of the medical profession generally and not compliance with local standards. Summerour v. Saint Joseph's Infirmary, Inc., 160 Ga. App. 187, 286 S.E.2d 508 (1981).

Jury may consider general practices in locality in determining care under the circumstances.

- Skill prescribed by this section is not such as is ordinarily employed by the profession in the particular locality or community; but the jury may, in determining what is reasonable care and skill under the circumstances, consider the degree of care and skill practiced by the profession generally in the locality or community. Kuttner v. Swanson, 59 Ga. App. 818, 2 S.E.2d 230 (1939); Mason v. Hall, 72 Ga. App. 867, 35 S.E.2d 478 (1945); Mull v. Emory Univ., Inc., 114 Ga. App. 63, 150 S.E.2d 276 (1966); but see Felix v. State, 271 Ga. 534, 523 S.E.2d 1 (1999).

Plaintiff need not allege failure to follow local practices.

- While the jury may consider the accepted medical practice in the local community in determining whether or not the failure to use or follow the alleged practices was an act of negligence, it is not necessary to so allege. Mull v. Emory Univ., Inc., 114 Ga. App. 63, 150 S.E.2d 276 (1966); but see Felix v. State, 271 Ga. 534, 523 S.E.2d 1 (1999).

Careful performance of authorized acts not defense to negligent performance of unauthorized acts.

- When a surgeon enters into an agreement with a person merely to perform a certain operation, and the surgeon, in violation of the contract, goes farther, without an emergency, and performs another operation which is unauthorized by the agreement, or by an emergency necessitating the additional operation, and injury results to the patient, the surgeon cannot relieve oneself from liability by showing skill and care in the other operation. Lord v. Claxton, 62 Ga. App. 526, 8 S.E.2d 657 (1940).

Duty of care in making diagnosis.

- Relative to a diagnosis by a doctor for discovering the nature of an ailment, the general rule of law is that a patient is entitled to a thorough and careful examination such as the condition of the patient and the attending circumstances will permit, with such diligence and method of diagnosis for discovering the nature of the ailment as are usually approved and practiced under similar circumstances by members of the doctor's profession in good standing. Pilgrim v. Landham, 63 Ga. App. 451, 11 S.E.2d 420 (1940).

Same degree of care and skill is required in making diagnosis as is required in treatment. Mull v. Emory Univ., Inc., 114 Ga. App. 63, 150 S.E.2d 276 (1966); but see Felix v. State, 271 Ga. 534, 523 S.E.2d 1 (1999).

Failure to diagnose.

- Trial court erred in denying a radiologist's motion for summary judgment on a patient's claim that the radiologist should have ordered an MRI with intravenous contrast, allowing earlier diagnosis of an epidural abscess, because the radiologist was unaware that the patient was a diabetic and showed signs of an infection, and there was no evidence that, lacking this knowledge, the radiologist deviated from the standard of care. Meli v. Hicks, 300 Ga. App. 894, 686 S.E.2d 489 (2009), cert. denied, No. S10C0504, 2010 Ga. LEXIS 254 (Ga. 2010).

Trial court erred by granting the attending physician summary judgment because the expert testimony presented a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the patient's death could have been avoided if the attending physician had prior diagnosed the patient's condition in the emergency room in compliance with the applicable standard of care. The experts testified that the attending physician deviated from the standard of care when the physician failed to obtain a CT scan imaging of the patient's aorta to make the diagnosis of an aortic dissection, and if the diagnosis had been made timely, it could have been successfully repaired. Knight v. Roberts, 316 Ga. App. 599, 730 S.E.2d 78 (2012).

Improper diagnosis is not actionable per se, the issue being whether the physician has used reasonable care and diligence as a professional man. Hogan v. Almand, 131 Ga. App. 225, 205 S.E.2d 440 (1974).

One physician may generally rely on diagnosis of another.

- When a family physician has diagnosed the case and given it as the physician's opinion that the patient is suffering from a tumor and desires an operation or treatment by an expert, the expert has the right to rely on the diagnosis of the family physician, and, in the absence of anything warranting a contrary conclusion, to perform the operation or give the treatment. Pilgrim v. Landham, 63 Ga. App. 451, 11 S.E.2d 420 (1940).

Duty to consult other physicians.

- Doctor with knowledge that a patient needs treatment the doctor is unable to provide has a duty to consult with a doctor more experienced in that particular field. Garbaccio v. Oglesby, 675 F. Supp. 1342 (M.D. Ga. 1987).

Standard for nurses.

- There is no law prohibiting nurses from giving intravenous injections; therefore, when such services are performed, the standard of care which should be imposed is the same as in regard to other authorized nursing activities. Deese v. Carroll City County Hosp., 203 Ga. App. 148, 416 S.E.2d 127 (1992).

Informed consent doctrine is not a viable principle of law in this state; therefore, the trial court did not err in precluding the plaintiff from presenting evidence on the issue of whether the plaintiff's consent to the surgical procedure was informed consent. Reece v. Selmonosky, 179 Ga. App. 718, 347 S.E.2d 649 (1986).

Failure of physician to remove sponge.

- Physician is liable, when the physician negligently left a sponge in the body of a person after the operation was completed. Akridge v. Noble, 114 Ga. 949, 41 S.E. 78 (1902).

Improper placement of hand board beneath patient.

- When placement of hand board which allegedly caused back injury to the plaintiff was that of the nurses and was completed before the surgeon entered the operating room, and the surgeon did not supervise its placement, these acts preceded the surgeon's appearance and were not made under the surgeon's immediate personal supervision so as to make any negligence of the nurses attributable to the surgeon. McClure v. Clayton County Hosp. Auth., 176 Ga. App. 414, 336 S.E.2d 268 (1985).

Transfer to another hospital.

- Plaintiff failed to present any evidence of proximate causation, i.e., evidence within a reasonable degree of medical certainty that the decedent would have survived but for the defendant's alleged negligence, based on the physician's decision to transfer the decedent to another hospital. Anthony v. Chambless, 231 Ga. App. 657, 500 S.E.2d 402 (1998).

It is not mere possession of requisite professional skill, but its exercise, which is required. Chapman v. Radcliffe, 44 Ga. App. 49, 162 S.E. 651 (1932); Kuttner v. Swanson, 59 Ga. App. 818, 2 S.E.2d 230 (1939); Lord v. Claxton, 62 Ga. App. 526, 8 S.E.2d 657 (1940); Bryan v. Grace, 63 Ga. App. 373, 11 S.E.2d 241 (1940); Mull v. Emory Univ., Inc., 114 Ga. App. 63, 150 S.E.2d 276 (1966); but see Felix v. State, 271 Ga. 534, 523 S.E.2d 1 (1999).

Failure to exercise care and skill may be accomplished by failure to exercise care only, or by failure to exercise skill only, or by failure to do both.

- See Richards v. Harpe, 42 Ga. App. 123, 155 S.E. 85 (1930).

Trial court erred by refusing to give requested jury instructions that because a physician must bring to the exercise of that profession the requisite degree of care and skill, the physician may be held liable for failure to exercise either the required care or the required skill. Brown v. Macheers, 249 Ga. App. 418, 547 S.E.2d 759 (2001).

In action for malpractice, law presumes that medical or surgical services were performed in ordinarily skillful manner, and burden of proof is on the plaintiff to show a want of due care, skill, and diligence on the part of the defendant. Yeates v. Boyd, 50 Ga. App. 331, 177 S.E. 921 (1935); Hayes v. Brown, 108 Ga. App. 360, 133 S.E.2d 102 (1963); Washington v. City of Columbus, 136 Ga. App. 682, 222 S.E.2d 583 (1975); Gunthorpe v. Daniels, 150 Ga. App. 113, 257 S.E.2d 199 (1979); Evans v. DeKalb County Hosp. Auth., 154 Ga. App. 17, 267 S.E.2d 319 (1980); Porubiansky v. Emory Univ., 156 Ga. App. 602, 275 S.E.2d 163 (1980); Stephen W. Brown Radiology Assocs. v. Gowers, 157 Ga. App. 770, 278 S.E.2d 653 (1981); Blount v. Moore, 159 Ga. App. 80, 282 S.E.2d 720 (1981); Hawkins v. Greenberg, 166 Ga. App. 574, 304 S.E.2d 922 (1983); Killingsworth v. Poon, 167 Ga. App. 653, 307 S.E.2d 123 (1983).

Plaintiff's expert affidavit.

- Once the defendant in a malpractice suit has carried the defendant's burden on motion for summary judgment, the plaintiff must respond with an expert's affidavit which must state the particulars in which the treatment was negligent, including an articulation of the minimum standard of acceptable professional conduct, and how and in what way the defendant deviated therefrom. Sanders v. Ramo, 203 Ga. App. 43, 416 S.E.2d 333 (1992).

Expert opinion.

- It was error to reverse a jury verdict for a surgeon and the surgeon's medical corporation in a medical malpractice case because the trial court's charge that the patient's expert's opinion had to be based on reasonable medical certainty and based on more than speculation was sufficient under Georgia law. Zwiren v. Thompson, 276 Ga. 498, 578 S.E.2d 862 (2003).

Doctor is not insurer and unintended result does not raise even an inference of negligence. A physician cannot always effect a cure. Hayes v. Brown, 108 Ga. App. 360, 133 S.E.2d 102 (1963); Blount v. Moore, 159 Ga. App. 80, 282 S.E.2d 720 (1981).

Physician not liable for unintended result if requisite care exercised.

- When a doctor or physician possesses the skill and learning ordinarily, under similar circumstances, possessed by the members of the doctor's profession, and uses ordinary and reasonable care and diligence and the doctor's best judgment in the application of the doctor's skill to the case, the doctor is not liable because the doctor's efforts to assist nature in effecting a cure did not bring about the desired result. Howell v. Jackson, 65 Ga. App. 422, 16 S.E.2d 45 (1941).

Prescribing drugs.

- Physician does not have a legal duty upon each occasion of prescribing a potentially dangerous drug to inquire of any known allergies of the patient, but has the duty to determine the proper medication for each patient, weighing the medication's benefits against the medication's potential dangers. Hawkins v. Greenberg, 166 Ga. App. 574, 304 S.E.2d 922 (1983).

Physician who has been retained by third party, such as the Department of Human Resources, to undertake a medical examination of an individual cannot be held liable to that individual for malpractice as a result of that examination, when the physician neither offered nor intended to treat, care for, or otherwise benefit the individual and did not injure the individual during the course of the examination, even though the physician failed to advise the individual of the results of the examination or to diagnose cancer based thereon. Peace v. Weisman, 186 Ga. App. 697, 368 S.E.2d 319, cert. denied, 186 Ga. App. 918, 368 S.E.2d 319 (1988).

"Wrongful birth" actions shall not be recognized in Georgia absent a clear mandate of such recognition by the legislature. Atlanta Obstetrics & Gynecology Group v. Abelson, 260 Ga. 711, 398 S.E.2d 557 (1990).

Holding in Atlanta Obstetrics & Gynecology Group v. Abelson, 260 Ga. 711, 398 S.E.2d 557 (1990), which forecloses wrongful birth claims under Georgia law, was not infirm for depriving women of a remedy for the unconstitutional deprivation of their right to make a free and informed choice concerning termination of a pregnancy since there is no evidence that this remedy was ever contemplated by the Georgia legislature. Campbell v. United States, 795 F. Supp. 1127 (N.D. Ga. 1991), aff'd, 962 F.2d 1579 (11th Cir. 1992), cert. denied, 507 U.S. 909, 113 S. Ct. 1254, 122 L. Ed. 2d 653 (1993).

Georgia Supreme Court's holding in Atlanta Obstetrics & Gynecology Group v. Abelson, 260 Ga. 711, 398 S.E.2d 557 (1990) does not turn on questions of gender or other arbitrary classifications. Campbell v. United States, 795 F. Supp. 1127 (N.D. Ga. 1991), aff'd, 962 F.2d 1579 (11th Cir. 1992), cert. denied, 507 U.S. 909, 113 S. Ct. 1254, 122 L. Ed. 2d 653 (1993).

Aborted pregnancy based on physician's misrepresentation.

- After a mother terminated her pregnancy based on a doctor's misrepresentation of the results of pre-natal testing, the mother, but not the father, was entitled to damages for medical malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty. Breyne v. Potter, 258 Ga. App. 728, 574 S.E.2d 916 (2002).

Suicide.

- Fact that the patient's suicide was volitional did not make it a rational act, nor did that alone relieve the hospital and physician of their duty to the patient. Brandvain v. Ridgeview Inst., Inc., 188 Ga. App. 106, 372 S.E.2d 265 (1988), aff'd, 259 Ga. 376, 382 S.E.2d 597 (1989).

Doctrine of res ipsa loquitur does not apply in malpractice suit. An unintended result does not raise an inference of negligence. It is presumed that medical or surgical services were performed in an ordinarily skillful manner. Hayes v. Brown, 108 Ga. App. 360, 133 S.E.2d 102 (1963); Washington v. City of Columbus, 136 Ga. App. 682, 222 S.E.2d 583 (1975).

Plaintiff must show defendant's negligence was proximate cause.

- To prevail, the plaintiff must show not only that the defendant was negligent but also that the plaintiff's injury was proximately caused by the defendant's lack of care or skill. Robertson v. Emory Univ. Hosp., 611 F.2d 604 (5th Cir. 1980).

Cannot recover without proximate cause.

- Plaintiff cannot recover for malpractice when there is not sufficient evidence that such physician's alleged failure to use the requisite degree of skill and diligence in treatment either proximately caused or contributed to cause the plaintiff additional suffering. Parrott v. Chatham County Hosp. Auth., 145 Ga. App. 113, 243 S.E.2d 269 (1978).

Causation is jury question.

- When measured by the method shown by medical witnesses to be negligence and the evidence, a bad result is shown, it is the province of the jury to say whether the result was caused by the negligence. Pilgrim v. Landham, 63 Ga. App. 451, 11 S.E.2d 420 (1940).

Summary judgment was improperly granted to the doctor as the plaintiffs raised a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the doctor breached the applicable standard of care because the plaintiffs' expert witness testified at a deposition that the doctor breached the standard of care by failing to implement a proper wound care plan, and failing to take part in the aggressive program to, inter alia, prevent pressure ulcers on the decedent's body; and the plaintiffs raised a genuine issue of material fact as to causation that should be determined by a jury as the chief medical examiner opined that the sepsis resulting from ulcers that developed under the doctor's care caused the decedent's death. Fields v. Taylor, Ga. App. , S.E.2d (Jan. 18, 2017).

Effect of plaintiff's contributory negligence.

- When from the allegations of the plaintiff's petition it is palpably clear that the injuries complained of were not caused from the failure of the physician to use reasonable care and skill but from the act of the plaintiff, the question of whether the physician has used such skill should be decided as a matter of law when a timely motion to dismiss has been filed. Robinson v. Campbell, 95 Ga. App. 240, 97 S.E.2d 544 (1957).

Jury instruction on gross negligence correct.

- In a medical malpractice action against an emergency room doctor, in which a patient's spinal canal hematoma was not diagnosed or treated, resulting in paraplegia, the gross-negligence standard of O.C.G.A. § 51-1-29.5 applied; the jury was not misled by opening statements into believing the jury could find liability under an ordinary-negligence standard. Southwestern Emergency Physicians, P.C. v. Quinney, 347 Ga. App. 410, 819 S.E.2d 696 (2018).

Cited in Smith v. Overby, 30 Ga. 241 (1860); Edwards v. Roberts, 12 Ga. App. 140, 76 S.E. 1054 (1913); Sweat v. Foster, 28 Ga. App. 360, 111 S.E. 66 (1922); Johnson v. Mitchell, 45 Ga. App. 414, 165 S.E. 140 (1932); Slack v. Crawford, 131 F.2d 101 (5th Cir. 1942); Wall v. Brim, 138 F.2d 478 (5th Cir. 1943); Norton v. Hamilton, 92 Ga. App. 727, 89 S.E.2d 809 (1955); Word v. Henderson, 110 Ga. App. 780, 140 S.E.2d 92 (1964); Word v. Henderson, 220 Ga. 846, 142 S.E.2d 244 (1965); Burnham v. Department of Pub. Health, 349 F. Supp. 1335 (N.D. Ga. 1972); Bell v. Sigal, 129 Ga. App. 249, 199 S.E.2d 355 (1973); Kenney v. Piedmont Hosp., 136 Ga. App. 660, 222 S.E.2d 162 (1975); Hogan v. City-County Hosp., 138 Ga. App. 906, 227 S.E.2d 796 (1976); North Am. Co. for Life & Health Ins. v. Berger, 648 F.2d 305 (5th Cir. 1981); Sullivan v. Henry, 160 Ga. App. 791, 287 S.E.2d 652 (1982); Bradley Center, Inc. v. Wessner, 161 Ga. App. 576, 287 S.E.2d 716 (1982); Sandford v. Howard, 161 Ga. App. 495, 288 S.E.2d 739 (1982); Grindstaff v. Coleman, 681 F.2d 740 (11th Cir. 1982); Dobbs v. Cobb E.N.T. Assocs., 165 Ga. App. 238, 299 S.E.2d 141 (1983); Skinner v. Coleman-Nincic Urology Clinic, P.A., 165 Ga. App. 280, 300 S.E.2d 319 (1983); Overstreet v. Nickelsen, 170 Ga. App. 539, 317 S.E.2d 583 (1984); Lorentzson v. Rowell, 171 Ga. App. 821, 321 S.E.2d 341 (1984); Central Anesthesia Assocs. P.C. v. Worthy, 173 Ga. App. 150, 325 S.E.2d 819 (1984); Verre v. Allen, 175 Ga. App. 749, 334 S.E.2d 350 (1985); Thomas v. Newnan Hosp., 185 Ga. App. 764, 365 S.E.2d 859 (1988); Cutts v. Fulton-DeKalb Hosp. Auth., 192 Ga. App. 517, 385 S.E.2d 436 (1989); Doctors Hosp. v. Bonner, 195 Ga. App. 152, 392 S.E.2d 897 (1990); Williams v. Memorial Medical Ctr., Inc., 218 Ga. App. 107, 460 S.E.2d 558 (1995); Roseberry v. Brooks, 218 Ga. App. 202, 461 S.E.2d 262 (1995); Cannon v. Jeffries, 250 Ga. App. 371, 551 S.E.2d 777 (2001).

Applicability to Special Cases

1. Dentists

Dentists under same duty of care as physicians.

- Duties and responsibilities of a dentist to the dentist's patient are controlled by the same rules of law as control the duties and responsibilities of a physician and surgeon. Gunthorpe v. Daniels, 150 Ga. App. 113, 257 S.E.2d 199 (1979); Porubiansky v. Emory Univ., 156 Ga. App. 602, 275 S.E.2d 163 (1980); Tumlin v. Daniels, 166 Ga. App. 635, 305 S.E.2d 145 (1983).

Dentist's duty of care defined.

- Dentist in practicing the dentist's profession is under the duty, not only to use the requisite care and skill in a particular operation, but also to give such after treatment to the patient as the necessity of the case demands, in the absence of any special agreement to the contrary. Specht v. Gaines, 65 Ga. App. 782, 16 S.E.2d 507 (1941).

Duty of one engaged in the practice of dentistry and medicine to "bring to the exercise of his profession a reasonable degree of care and skill" is an affirmative statutory duty imposed upon those who engage in professional practice. The obligation to practice under this standard must be viewed as a condition to the licensure of the state to engage in the practice of medicine and dentistry. Emory Univ. v. Porubiansky, 248 Ga. 391, 282 S.E.2d 903 (1981).

Duty not relieved by contract.

- It is against the public policy of this state to allow one who procures a license to practice dentistry to relieve oneself by contract of the duty to exercise reasonable care. Emory Univ. v. Porubiansky, 248 Ga. 391, 282 S.E.2d 903 (1981).

Dentist is not an insurer or warrantor that the exercise of the dentist's professional judgment will effect a cure of the patient, nor is the dentist obliged to bring to the exercise of the dentist's profession the utmost skill. Bryan v. Grace, 63 Ga. App. 373, 11 S.E.2d 241 (1940); Specht v. Gaines, 65 Ga. App. 782, 16 S.E.2d 507 (1941); Kent v. Henson, 174 Ga. App. 400, 330 S.E.2d 126 (1985).

Dentist not liable if requisite degree of care exercised.

- If a dentist measures up to the qualifications and applies the reasonable care and skill legally required of the dentist, then the dentist is not responsible for a mistake of judgment; if, however, an error of judgment is so gross as to be inconsistent with that degree of care and skill which a dentist should possess and exercise, liability may result when an injury is produced. Bryan v. Grace, 63 Ga. App. 373, 11 S.E.2d 241 (1940); Specht v. Gaines, 65 Ga. App. 782, 16 S.E.2d 507 (1941).

Presumption of due care.

- Law presumes that a dentist performs the dentist's services with the proper degree of skill and care, and, except in extreme circumstances, the plaintiff can overcome this presumption only through expert testimony. Tumlin v. Daniels, 166 Ga. App. 635, 305 S.E.2d 145 (1983).

Conclusory allegations of dentist's misjudgment insufficient as pleadings.

- Allegation that, in effect, it was an error of judgment on the part of the defendant in failing to extract the plaintiff's teeth amounted only to a conclusion or opinion of the pleader, and without supporting facts which would have made a jury question as to whether or not such conduct was equivalent to a lack of the legally required professional care and skill was not good against a motion to dismiss. Byran v. Grace, 63 Ga. App. 373, 11 S.E.2d 241 (1940).

2. Hospitals

Section applicable to hospitals.

- While in the strict technical sense a hospital corporation cannot be considered "a person professing to practice surgery or the administering of medicine", it is common knowledge that hospitals do in fact administer medical treatment. Richmond County Hosp. Auth. v. Haynes, 121 Ga. App. 537, 174 S.E.2d 364 (1970).

Hospital's duty of care analogous to that of physician.

- Rule applicable against physicians in malpractice cases, that requires physicians to bring to the exercise of the physicians profession a reasonable degree of care and skill applies equally to an action brought against a hospital when technical questions are involved and expert testimony by medical witnesses is offered. Goodman v. St. Joseph's Infirmary, Inc., 144 Ga. App. 614, 241 S.E.2d 487 (1978).

Private hospital in which patients are placed for treatment by their physicians, and which undertakes to care for the patients and supervise and look after them, is under the duty to exercise such reasonable care in looking after and protecting a patient as the patient's condition, which is known to the hospital through the hospital's agents and servants charged with the duty of looking after and supervising the patient, may require. Of course, the duties do not end until the relation of patient and physician and patient and hospital has ceased. Lord v. Claxton, 62 Ga. App. 526, 8 S.E.2d 657 (1940).

Elements for establishing liability.

- There are three elements a plaintiff must establish to show a hospital's malpractice liability: (1) the duty of the hospital; (2) the breach of that duty by failing to exercise the requisite degree of skill and care; and (3) that the failure of the hospital to exercise such requisite skill and care was the proximate cause of the injury sustained. McClure v. Clayton County Hosp. Auth., 176 Ga. App. 414, 336 S.E.2d 268 (1985).

Patient-health care provider relationship was established between a hospital and parents who took their baby to the emergency room for any medical assistance needed and, on the strength of reassurances by a nurse that the baby was fine, left the hospital. South Fulton Medical Ctr. Inc. v. Poe, 224 Ga. App. 107, 480 S.E.2d 40 (1996).

Air Force hospital liable.

- Air Force hospital's failure to diagnose the plaintiff's hypercholesterolemia and heart disease, the failure of the supervising physician to properly supervise physician's assistants and the failure to provide thrombolytic therapy, breached the required standard of care and proximately caused the plaintiff's myocardial infarction and the damage as a result thereof. The United States Air Force had a duty to conform to a standard of conduct raised by Georgia law for the protection of the plaintiff. MacDonald v. United States, 853 F. Supp. 1430 (M.D. Ga. 1994).

Veteran's hospital not liable when veteran failed to follow treatment plan.

- There is a presumption in a medical malpractice case that the physician performed in an ordinarily skillful manner so that the burden is upon the plaintiff to show a want of care or skill; a veteran whose leg was amputated after the veteran failed to comply with a Veterans Administration (VA) treatment plan for the veteran's diabetes and related foot ulcer failed to show that VA personnel breached the standard of care set out in O.C.G.A. § 51-1-27 and that the amputation would have been unnecessary if another treatment plan had been used. Moreover, the evidence plainly established that the veteran's negligence in failing to comply with the veteran's treatment plan exceeded the negligence, if any, by VA personnel, so the veteran could not recover under O.C.G.A. § 51-11-7. Kimbrough v. United States Gov't, F. Supp. 2d (N.D. Ga. Oct. 2, 2008).

Hospital not negligent for acts of independent physician absent showing of negligence in permitting physician to practice in hospital.

- When the attending physician was an independent contractor rather than an employee of the hospital, and it is not alleged that the hospital was negligent in having the physician on the hospital's staff or that the hospital undertook to direct the physician in the physician's treatment of the patient, the hospital cannot be held liable for the physician's alleged negligence. Moore v. Carrington, 155 Ga. App. 12, 270 S.E.2d 222 (1980).

Hospital is not liable for negligence of physician when the negligence relates to a matter of professional judgment on the part of the physician when the hospital does not exercise and has no right to exercise control in the diagnosis or treatment of illness or injury. Stewart v. Midani, 525 F. Supp. 843 (N.D. Ga. 1981).

Hospital is liable for lack of due care in selection of unskilled physician or surgeon as employee or member of staff, or directing the physician in a negligent manner as to the treatment of a hospital patient. Goodman v. St. Joseph's Infirmary, Inc., 144 Ga. App. 614, 241 S.E.2d 487 (1978).

Administrative or clerical duties

- Noncharitable hospital is liable for negligence of the hospital's nurses, orderlies, and other employees, in the performance of mere administrative or clerical duties, which, though constituting a part of the patient's prescribed medical treatment, do not require the application of specialized technique or the understanding of a skilled physician or surgeon and which duties are not performed under the direct supervision of the attending physician. Goodman v. St. Joseph's Infirmary, Inc., 144 Ga. App. 614, 241 S.E.2d 487 (1978); Moore v. Carrington, 155 Ga. App. 12, 270 S.E.2d 222 (1980).

Negligent acts of employees.

- Hospital may be liable for the negligent acts of the hospital's servants and employees in carrying out a physician's instructions in performing administrative or clerical acts requiring no medical judgment. Swindell v. St. Joseph's Hosp., 161 Ga. App. 290, 291 S.E.2d 1 (1982).

Actions of nurses.

- Trial court did not err by denying the hospital's motion for summary judgment because experts testified that the hospital's nurses failed to properly triage the patient and did not immediately carry out the attending physician's orders for the patient's medications and treatment until almost an hour after the orders were given. Knight v. Roberts, 316 Ga. App. 599, 730 S.E.2d 78 (2012).

Doctor practicing in a city-owned and operated hospital is not protected by the sovereign immunity doctrine and is therefore liable for the doctor's negligent actions. Jackson v. Miller, 176 Ga. App. 220, 335 S.E.2d 438 (1985).

Telephone instructions from consultant.

- Evidence did not support allegations that emergency room physician was negligent in failing to make certain that the ER physician understood the consulting physician's telephone instructions regarding drugs prescribed for a kidney patient since the consultant's preoccupation with the consultant's work during the conversation was the more likely source of the error in communication. Garbaccio v. Oglesby, 675 F. Supp. 1342 (M.D. Ga. 1987).

3. Unlicensed Practitioners

Mere failure to have license to practice medicine or surgery will not authorize inference of negligence when one attempts to treat or operate on another and injures that person. Andrews v. Lofton, 80 Ga. App. 723, 57 S.E.2d 338 (1950); Irwin v. Arrendale, 117 Ga. App. 1, 159 S.E.2d 719 (1967).

No cause will lie against unlicensed person absent causal link between defendant's actions and plaintiff's injury.

- Allegations that the duties and inhibitions imposed upon the defendant by the statutes as to the necessity of having a license to practice medicine or surgery were due to the plaintiff and the plaintiff's child personally, and as members of the public seeking medical and surgical care, and that the death of the child was a natural and probable consequence of the violation of such statutes by the defendant were subject to a motion to dismiss for failure to show anything having a causal relation to the death of the child. Andrews v. Lofton, 80 Ga. App. 723, 57 S.E.2d 338 (1950).

Fact defendant is unlicensed may be pertinent on other issues.

- Allegations made as to the defendant falsely holding oneself out as a physician and surgeon in violation of stated sections of the Code of Georgia, and that the defendant did not possess the qualifications necessary for the possession of a license are pertinent by way of history or inducement as to why the plaintiff engaged the services of the defendant and for that reason should not be stricken on motion, though irrelevant on the question of the defendant's negligence. Andrews v. Lofton, 80 Ga. App. 723, 57 S.E.2d 338 (1950).

Fact that nurse failed board exam was irrelevant.

- In a medical malpractice action filed by the court's plaintiff parents against a pediatrician, a nurse, and others, the trial court did not abuse the court's discretion by prohibiting the parents from showing that the nurse failed to pass the nursing board examination as such evidence was irrelevant, and even if it could be said that the evidence had any probative value, the evidence was substantially outweighed by the danger of undue prejudice. Snider v. Basilio, 281 Ga. 261, 637 S.E.2d 40 (2006).

4. Surgeons

Negligence of operating room personnel.

- When a hospital yields control of the hospital's employees to a surgeon in the operating room and the surgeon exercises immediate personal supervision over these employees, then the surgeon becomes their master and their negligence during the course of the master-servant relationship will be imputed to the surgeon. Swindell v. St. Joseph's Hosp., 161 Ga. App. 290, 291 S.E.2d 1 (1982).

Expert opinion not supported by records.

- Medical records that provided no information about the patient's second visit to the emergency room, the timing of the discovery of a ruptured appendix, or the exploratory surgery that resulted in an appendectomy were too general to support an expert's conclusion that the doctors' conduct proximately caused the patient's injuries. Jones v. Orris, 274 Ga. App. 52, 616 S.E.2d 820 (2005).

Pleading and Practice

Privity required.

- Action against a medical professional can be maintained only by one within the physician-patient relationship. Bradley Center, Inc. v. Wessner, 161 Ga. App. 576, 287 S.E.2d 716, aff'd, 250 Ga. 199, 296 S.E.2d 693 (1982), overruled on other grounds by Dep't of Labor v. McConnell, 305 Ga. 812, 828 S.E.2d 352 (2019).

Sufficiency of pleadings.

- Petition which shows such conduct on the part of the defendant as would authorize a jury to find that the defendant had not exercised the requisite care and skill in treating and operating upon the plaintiff's daughter, and that such negligence was the proximate cause of the death of the child stated a cause of action for the child. Andrews v. Lofton, 80 Ga. App. 723, 57 S.E.2d 338 (1950).

Allegation that the defendant "knew or should have known" was a sufficient allegation as to knowledge since the defendant's duty arose from the legal relation of physician and patient. Frazier v. Davis, 94 Ga. App. 173, 94 S.E.2d 51 (1956).

In a federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2671 et seq., case, a district court's entry of summary judgment in favor of the government was affirmed because the inmate did not present evidence to raise a genuine issue of material fact as to the penitentiary medical staff's negligence in response to the government's motion for summary judgment; in fact, the inmate produced no evidence indicating that the medical staff failed to exercise the requisite care in treating and diagnosing the inmate and failed to establish medical malpractice under O.C.G.A. § 51-1-27. Duque v. United States, 216 Fed. Appx. 830 (11th Cir. 2007)(Unpublished).

Plaintiff must prove defendant's negligence through expert medical testimony in order to prevail at trial. Starr v. Fregosi, 370 F.2d 15 (5th Cir. 1966); Self v. Executive Comm. of Ga. Baptist Convention of Ga., Inc., 245 Ga. 548, 266 S.E.2d 168 (1980); Parker v. Knight, 245 Ga. 782, 267 S.E.2d 222 (1980); Larson v. Friedman & Snyder, 154 Ga. App. 702, 269 S.E.2d 532 (1980).

To establish professional medical negligence the evidence presented by the patient must show a violation of the degree of care and skill required of a physician. Hawkins v. Greenberg, 159 Ga. App. 302, 283 S.E.2d 301 (1981).

Question of compliance with the required standards of O.C.G.A. § 51-1-27 must be presented through expert testimony. Wagner v. Timms, 158 Ga. App. 538, 281 S.E.2d 295 (1981).

Plaintiff asserting medical malpractice must present expert medical testimony to overcome the presumption of a physician's care, skill, and diligence. Jones v. Wike, 654 F.2d 1129 (5th Cir. 1981).

Physician can be his or her own expert witness. Moore v. Candler Gen. Hosp., 185 Ga. App. 280, 363 S.E.2d 793 (1987).

To avoid the grant of summary judgment in a medical malpractice suit, the plaintiff must counter a defendant's expert affidavit with a contrary expert opinion. Moore v. Candler Gen. Hosp., 185 Ga. App. 280, 363 S.E.2d 793 (1987).

Expert testimony must establish requisite degree of care and skill.

- Proper standard of measurement in determining whether a doctor exercised a reasonable degree of care and skill is to be established by testimony of physicians; for it is a medical question. Pilgrim v. Landham, 63 Ga. App. 451, 11 S.E.2d 420 (1940); Self v. Executive Comm. of Ga. Baptist Convention of Ga., Inc., 245 Ga. 548, 266 S.E.2d 168 (1980); Robertson v. Emory Univ. Hosp., 611 F.2d 604 (5th Cir. 1980); Blount v. Moore, 159 Ga. App. 80, 282 S.E.2d 720 (1981).

In malpractice actions, expert testimony is necessary to establish the parameters of acceptable professional conduct, a significant deviation from which would constitute malpractice. Franklin v. Elmer, 174 Ga. App. 839, 332 S.E.2d 314 (1985).

Trial court did not err in denying a psychiatrist's motion for summary judgment in a patient's medical malpractice action because whether the psychiatrist breached duties arising from the psychiatrist-patient relationship was an issue of fact; pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 9-11-9.1, the patient presented expert testimony that the psychiatrist's breaches of the duty of care directly resulted in the foreseeable harm of the patient's attempting suicide. Peterson v. Reeves, 315 Ga. App. 370, 727 S.E.2d 171 (2012).

Required proof by plaintiff.

- To overcome the presumption of due care and to show negligence in a medical malpractice case, it is usually required that the patient offer expert medical testimony to the effect that the defendant-doctor failed to exercise that degree of care and skill which would ordinarily have been employed by the medical profession generally under the circumstances. Killingsworth v. Poon, 167 Ga. App. 653, 307 S.E.2d 123 (1983).

Need for contrary expert opinion not obviated.

- Improper placement of a hand board underneath a patient is not such an obvious act of negligence, and is not so gross or clear and palpable act of negligence, to obviate the necessity for expert testimony to refute a defendant doctor's expert opinion that the defendant was not negligent. McClure v. Clayton County Hosp. Auth., 176 Ga. App. 414, 336 S.E.2d 268 (1985).

When contrary expert opinion not required.

- Evidentiary burden on plaintiff-patients to produce such expert medical testimony as will overcome the presumption of the physician's exercise of due care is not applicable in those cases when the asserted actionable negligence would appear to be so clear from the evidence then of record that expert testimony would, at that point, otherwise be unnecessary to establish a prima facie case of malpractice. Killingsworth v. Poon, 167 Ga. App. 653, 307 S.E.2d 123 (1983).

Failure of a medical expert to use "magic words" in accusing a colleague of negligence in a medical malpractice case will not deprive the expert's opinion of all efficacy when it is clear that the witness is of the opinion that the colleague failed to exercise due care in treating the patient. Tysinger v. Smisson, 176 Ga. App. 604, 337 S.E.2d 49 (1985).

"Pronounced results" exception to the general evidentiary rule requiring the plaintiff to produce expert testimony encompasses only those exceedingly rare cases wherein the medical questions presented concern matters which a jury can be credited with knowing by reason of common knowledge or wherein the possibility of actionable medical negligence appears so clearly from the record that the plaintiff-patient need not produce expert medical testimony concerning the applicable standard of care to avoid summary judgment for a defendant in a medical malpractice action who has produced expert medical testimony as to the defendant's own lack of negligence. Cherokee County Hosp. Auth. v. Beaver, 179 Ga. App. 200, 345 S.E.2d 904 (1986).

Trial court erred in ruling that evidence merely that the plaintiff experienced pain and an unexplained weakness in the plaintiff's leg at the time the plaintiff received an injection was sufficient to warrant application of the narrow "pronounced results" exception. Cherokee County Hosp. Auth. v. Beaver, 179 Ga. App. 200, 345 S.E.2d 904 (1986).

Nonexpert testimony allowed as to readily apparent medical conditions.

- Results of diagnosis and treatment, if so pronounced as to become apparent, as when a leg or limb which has been broken is shorter than the other after diagnosis and treatment, may be testified to by anyone. Pilgrim v. Landham, 63 Ga. App. 451, 11 S.E.2d 420 (1940).

Conflicting evidence on standard of care.

- Conflicting evidence was presented as to whether the psychiatrist complied with the applicable standards of care, the trial court did not err in denying the patient's motion for new trial based on sufficiency of evidence supporting the patient's claim for medical malpractice. Harris v. Leader, 231 Ga. App. 709, 499 S.E.2d 374 (1998).

Conflicting testimony insufficient to support malpractice action when both views are customary and accepted.

- Testimony showing a mere difference in views or individual practices among doctors, however, is insufficient to support a malpractice action when it is shown that each view or practice is acceptable and customary. Hayes v. Brown, 108 Ga. App. 360, 133 S.E.2d 102 (1963); Robertson v. Emory Univ. Hosp., 611 F.2d 604 (5th Cir. 1980).

Result of medical treatment is not consideration in the determination of whether the treatment was performed negligently. Blount v. Moore, 159 Ga. App. 80, 282 S.E.2d 720 (1981).

Fact that treatment resulted unfavorably does not raise presumption of want of proper care, skill, or diligence. Blount v. Moore, 159 Ga. App. 80, 282 S.E.2d 720 (1981).

Admission of error by defendant.

- Admission by a surgeon that the surgeon made a mistake during surgery would not raise a question of negligence for the jury in the absence of positive evidence of the usual and customary practices and procedures followed by the medical profession generally. Williams v. Ricks, 152 Ga. App. 555, 263 S.E.2d 457 (1979).

Photograph of wound as evidence.

- In an action for malpractice, a photograph of the wound alleged to have been caused by the malpractice is admissible in evidence to show the extent of the injury. Pace v. Cochran, 144 Ga. 261, 86 S.E. 934 (1915).

Summary judgment in favor of psychiatrist improper.

- Because a patient had not been convicted of murder, no court had entered a judgment finding the patient mentally competent at the time of the crime, and the evidence did not establish, as a matter of law, that the patient was mentally competent when the patient killed the patient's mother, the patient was presumed innocent under O.C.G.A. § 16-1-5 and was not a "wrongdoer" whose status as such would be a bar to any of the patient's medical malpractice claims against a psychiatrist and, consequently, summary judgment on that issue or any issue relating to the patient's contributory negligence for causing the patient's mother's death was not authorized by the evidence since a jury issue existed as to whether the patient had the requisite mental capacity to commit murder. Bruscato v. O'Brien, 307 Ga. App. 452, 705 S.E.2d 275 (2010).

Plaintiff must produce expert testimony when defendant has done so.

- In those cases when the plaintiff must produce an expert's opinion in order to prevail at trial, when the defendant produces an expert's opinion in the defendant's favor on motion for summary judgment and the plaintiff fails to produce a contrary expert opinion in opposition to that motion, then there is no genuine issue to be tried by the jury and it is not error to grant summary judgment to the defendant. Pilgrim v. Landham, 63 Ga. App. 451, 11 S.E.2d 420 (1940); Golden v. Payne, 152 Ga. App. 800, 264 S.E.2d 292 (1979), rev'd on other grounds, 245 Ga. 784, 267 S.E.2d 211 (1980); Parker v. Knight, 245 Ga. 782, 267 S.E.2d 222 (1980); Lawrence v. Gardner, 154 Ga. App. 722, 270 S.E.2d 9 (1980).

Summary judgment properly based on defendant's own expert allegations if plaintiff fails to produce expert testimony.

- When a plaintiff must produce an expert's opinion that the defendant was negligent in order to avoid the grant of a directed verdict in favor of the defendant, that the plaintiff must also produce that opinion in order to avoid the grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendant when the defendant moves for summary judgment solely on the basis of the defendant's own affidavit, submitted in the defendant's capacity as an expert, that the defendant was not negligent. Payne v. Golden, 245 Ga. 784, 267 S.E.2d 211 (1980).

Defendant not entitled to summary judgment when defendant's expert's testimony may also support plaintiff's claim.

- Simply because the defendant is initially responsible for the production of certain witnesses, the defendant is not entitled to summary judgment when the experts relied upon by the defendant also offer expert testimony which a jury could find supports the plaintiff's allegations of medical negligence. Lawrence v. Gardner, 154 Ga. App. 722, 270 S.E.2d 9 (1980).

Burden of proof.

- In a suit for damages alleged to have been caused by the malpractice of a surgeon, the burden is on the plaintiff to show a want of due care, skill, or diligence as required by this section, and also that the injury resulted from the want of such care, skill, or diligence. Georgia N. Ry. v. Ingram, 114 Ga. 639, 40 S.E. 708 (1901).

Under O.C.G.A. § 51-1-27, the burden is on the plaintiff to show failure to exercise due care and skill. Hawkins v. Greenberg, 159 Ga. App. 302, 283 S.E.2d 301 (1981), aff'd, 166 Ga. App. 574, 304 S.E.2d 922 (1983).

To satisfy the burden of proof in a malpractice action brought by the patient it was not necessary for another physician to testify that the defendant-physician was guilty of malpractice or professional negligence. Stephen W. Brown Radiology Assocs. v. Gowers, 157 Ga. App. 770, 278 S.E.2d 653 (1981).

Plaintiff in a wrongful death action established medical malpractice because evidence, including expert testimony, showed that medical professionals did little, if anything, to monitor the patient and improve the patient's respiratory function after the patient received the patient's final dosage of Dilaudid. There was a medical probability that the pain medication proximately caused the patient's death. Mixon v. United States, F. Supp. 2d (M.D. Ga. Sept. 30, 2014).

When an employee forged mammogram reports, denial of summary judgment to the hospital was reversed because the plaintiffs failed to show that the plaintiffs suffered physical, emotional, or pecuniary injury as the plaintiff's consented to undergoing a second mammogram, the plaintiffs did not have breast cancer, and therefore failure of the radiologist to examine their mammography films did not exacerbate the plaintiffs' existing condition. Houston Hospitals, Inc. v. Felder, 351 Ga. App. 394, 829 S.E.2d 182 (2019), cert. denied, No. S19C1628, 2020 Ga. LEXIS 210 (Ga. 2020).

Whether the requisite degree of care and skill has been exercised is question of fact for determination by jury. Radcliffe v. Maddox, 45 Ga. App. 676, 165 S.E. 841 (1932); Robinson v. Campbell, 95 Ga. App. 240, 97 S.E.2d 544 (1957); Gaines v. Wolcott, 119 Ga. App. 313, 167 S.E.2d 366 (1969); Rogers v. Black, 121 Ga. App. 299, 173 S.E.2d 431 (1970).

Questions of negligence, diligence, contributory negligence, proximate cause, and the exercise of ordinary care for one's protection, ordinarily are to be decided by a jury. Stephen W. Brown Radiology Assocs. v. Gowers, 157 Ga. App. 770, 278 S.E.2d 653 (1981).

Trial court did not err in denying a psychiatrist's motion for summary judgment in a patient's medical malpractice action because whether the psychiatrist breached duties arising from the psychiatrist-patient relationship was an issue of fact; under O.C.G.A. §§ 37-3-4 and51-1-27, the psychiatrist could be held liable if the treatment of the patient fell below the requisite standard of care, and that failure proximately caused the patient's injury. Peterson v. Reeves, 315 Ga. App. 370, 727 S.E.2d 171 (2012).

Failure to commit patient.

- Under some circumstances, the failure to commit may constitute a breach of the well-established duty of care physicians owe patients, and when a fact question has been created on that issue, it is for the jury. Peterson v. Reeves, 315 Ga. App. 370, 727 S.E.2d 171 (2012).

Neither court nor jury may substitute its own standard for that established by expert testimony.

- Court and the jury must have a standard measure which they are to use in measuring the acts of the doctor in determining whether the doctor exercised a reasonable degree of care and skill, and are not permitted to set up and use any arbitrary or artificial standard of measurement that a jury may wish to apply. Pilgrim v. Landham, 63 Ga. App. 451, 11 S.E.2d 420 (1940); Hayes v. Brown, 108 Ga. App. 360, 133 S.E.2d 102 (1963).

Jury may be limited to expert testimony in determining negligence.

- Jury, in determining the question of negligence in an action brought under this section, may be limited to the testimony of physicians and surgeons when determining this question when other facts and circumstances are absent. Fincher v. Davis, 27 Ga. App. 494, 108 S.E. 905 (1921).

Jury charge as to physician care and skill requirements.

- Trial court did not err in denying the patient's requested charge on the exercise of the requisite skill and care required of a physician, as the charge given by the court gave full and correct statement of law regarding the care and skill required of a physician and proof required to support a medical malpractice claim; moreover, no abuse resulted from the trial court's refusal to strike challenged defense expert's testimony as a question of fact existed as to whether the physician applied the appropriate standard, and it was up to the jury to weigh this testimony and determine if it met the standard under the court's charge. West v. Breast Care Specialists, LLC, 290 Ga. App. 521, 659 S.E.2d 895 (2008).

Location of the external site of the injection was merely a question of fact, not a "medical question" such as required expert medical testimony. Cherokee County Hosp. Auth. v. Beaver, 179 Ga. App. 200, 345 S.E.2d 904 (1986).

It was not error to charge the substance of former Code 1933, §§ 84-907, 84-924, and 84-1207 (see now O.C.G.A. §§ 43-34-26 and51-1-27) in connection with an action against a hospital administrator who is alleged to have mixed and administered drugs for the relief of his discomfort to a patient at the hospital as a result of which the patient suffered a bromide poisoning. Fulton Hosp. v. McDonald, 106 Ga. App. 783, 128 S.E.2d 539 (1962).

Use of phrase "acceptable customary medical approach" in charging the jury on the proper standard of negligence did not impermissibly allow a "custom" defense. Davis v. Coastal Emergency Servs., Inc., 868 F.2d 1223 (11th Cir. 1989).

"Hindsight" instruction.

- First sentence of the suggested pattern "hindsight" charge states that, "In a medical malpractice action, a defendant cannot be found negligent on the basis of an assessment of a patient's condition that only later, in hindsight, proves to be incorrect as long as the initial assessment was made in accordance with reasonable standards of medical care." This portion of the instruction is appropriate in any case when the negligence claim is based in whole or in part on the assertion that the physician made an incorrect assessment of a patient's condition. Smith v. Finch, 285 Ga. 709, 681 S.E.2d 147 (2009).

Second and third sentences of the suggested pattern "hindsight" charge state that, "In other words, the concept of negligence does not include hindsight. Negligence consists of not foreseeing and guarding against that which is probable and likely to happen, not against that which is only remotely and slightly possible." As the third sentence is not a correct statement of the law, and the second is duplicative of the first sentence, they are disapproved, as are cases in which they were upheld, e.g., Steele v. Atlanta Maternal-Fetal Medicine, 610 S.E.2d 546 (Ga. App. 2005); Betha v. Ebanks, 589 S.E.2d 831 (Ga. App. 2003); Cherry v. Schwindt, 584 S.E.2d 673 (Ga. App. 2003); Brannen v. Prince, 421 S.E.2d 76 (Ga. App. 1992); Gillis v. City of Waycross, 543 S.E.2d 423 (Ga. App. 2000); and Haynes v. Hoffman, 296 S.E.2d 216 (Ga. App. 1982). Smith v. Finch, 285 Ga. 709, 681 S.E.2d 147 (2009).

"Later acquired knowledge" standard for evaluating the giving of the "hindsight" instruction in medical malpractice cases is disapproved. Smith v. Finch, 285 Ga. 709, 681 S.E.2d 147 (2009).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 61 Am. Jur. 2d, Physicians, Surgeons, and Other Healers, § 183 et seq.

Proof of Failure to Diagnose Diabetes or Complications of Diabetes, 51 POF3d 1.

Medical Malpractice in Tonsillectomies, 57 POF3d 381.

Proof of Injury Resulting from Prescription Medication Rezulin, 74 POF3d 141.

Proof of Injury Resulting from Liposuction Surgery, 82 POF3d 1.

C.J.S.

- 70 C.J.S., Physicians and Surgeons, § 62 et seq.

ALR.

- Liability of physician for permitting exposure to infectious or contagious disease, 13 A.L.R. 1465; 5 A.L.R. 926.

Liability of private noncharitable hospital or sanitarium for improper care of treatment of patient, 39 A.L.R. 1431; 124 A.L.R. 186.

Liability for medical or surgical services rendered inmates of public institutions, 44 A.L.R. 1285.

Liability to patient for results of medical or surgical treatment by one not licensed as required by law, 44 A.L.R. 1418; 57 A.L.R. 978.

Liability for committing, or aiding commitment, to contagious disease hospital of one not suffering from contagious disease, 54 A.L.R. 656.

Physicians and surgeons: standard of skill and care required of specialist, 59 A.L.R. 1071.

When statute of limitations commences to run against actions against physicians, surgeons, or dentists for malpractice, 74 A.L.R. 1317; 80 A.L.R.2d 368; 70 A.L.R.3d 7.

Grounds for revocation of valid license of physician, surgeon, or dentist, 82 A.L.R. 1184.

Liability as for malpractice as affected by failure to take or advise the taking of an X-ray picture after operation, or to resort to other means of determining advisability of a supplementary operation or special treatment, 115 A.L.R. 298.

Electrical treatment as practice of medicine or surgery within statute, 115 A.L.R. 957.

Necessary allegations in a declaration or complaint in action against physician or surgeon based on wrong diagnosis, 134 A.L.R. 683.

Necessity of expert evidence to support an action for malpractice against a physician or surgeon, 141 A.L.R. 5; 81 A.L.R.2d 597.

Physicians and surgeons: presumption or inference of negligence in malpractice cases; res ipsa loquitur, 162 A.L.R. 1265; 174 A.L.R. 960; 82 A.L.R.2d 1262.

Proximate cause in malpractice cases, 13 A.L.R.2d 11.

Malpractice: diagnosis and treatment of brain injuries, diseases, or conditions, 29 A.L.R.2d 501.

Hospital's liability for injury or death in obstetrical cases, 37 A.L.R.2d 1284.

Liability for injury by X-ray, 41 A.L.R.2d 329.

Contributory negligence or assumption of risk as defense in action against physician or surgeon for malpractice, 50 A.L.R.2d 1043.

Medical malpractice action as abating upon death of either party, 50 A.L.R.2d 1445.

Nurse's liability for her own negligence or malpractice, 51 A.L.R.2d 970.

Malpractice: treatment of fractures or dislocations, 54 A.L.R.2d 200.

Malpractice: diagnosis of fractures or dislocations, 54 A.L.R.2d 273.

Malpractice in the diagnosis or treatment of cancer, 55 A.L.R.2d 461; 79 A.L.R.2d 890.

Liability of physician or surgeon for extending operation or treatment beyond that expressly authorized, 56 A.L.R.2d 695.

Liability of physician for lack of diligence in attending patient, 57 A.L.R.2d 379.

Liability of physician who abandons case, 57 A.L.R.2d 432.

Malpractice in nose and throat treatment and surgery, 58 A.L.R.2d 216.

Malpractice in administering medicine to which patient is unusually susceptible or allergic, 64 A.L.R.2d 1281.

Hospital's liability for injury to patient from heat lamp or pad or hot-water bottle, 72 A.L.R.2d 408.

Malpractice: propriety and effect of instruction or argument directing attention to injury to defendant's professional reputation or standing, 74 A.L.R.2d 662.

Malpractice in diagnosis or treatment of tuberculosis, 75 A.L.R.2d 814.

Malpractice in treatment and surgery of the ear, 76 A.L.R.2d 783.

Malpractice: physician's duty to inform patient of nature and hazards of disease or treatment, 79 A.L.R.2d 1028.

Statute of limitations applicable to malpractice action against physician, surgeon, dentist, or similar practitioner, 80 A.L.R.2d 320; 70 A.L.R.4th 535.

When statute of limitations commences to run against malpractice action against physician, surgeon, dentist, or similar practitioner, 80 A.L.R.2d 368; 70 A.L.R.3d 7.

Liability of chiropodist for malpractice, 80 A.L.R.2d 1278.

Physicians and surgeons: res ipsa loquitur, or presumption or inference of negligence, in malpractice cases, 82 A.L.R.2d 1262.

Liability of dentist to patient, 83 A.L.R.2d 7; 11 A.L.R.4th 748.

Liability of one physician or surgeon for malpractice of another, 85 A.L.R.2d 889.

Competency of physician or surgeon of school of practice other than that to which defendant belongs to testify in malpractice case, 85 A.L.R.2d 1022.

Liability of physician for injury to esophagus or other internal organs occurring in course of gastroscopic examination, 88 A.L.R.2d 297.

Liability of doctor or dentist using force to restrain or discipline patient, 89 A.L.R.2d 983.

Malpractice in appendicitis treatment and surgery, 94 A.L.R.2d 1006.

Hospital's liability for exposing patient to extraneous infection or contagion, 96 A.L.R.2d 1205.

Malpractice in connection with care and treatment of burn patients, 97 A.L.R.2d 473.

Malpractice liability with respect to diagnosis and treatment of mental disease, 99 A.L.R.2d 599; 94 A.L.R.3d 317; 8 A.L.R.4th 464.

Physician's or surgeon's liability for injury to mother in pregnancy and childbirth cases, 99 A.L.R.2d 1336; 76 A.L.R.4th 1112; 1 A.L.R.5th 269; 2 A.L.R.5th 769; 3 A.L.R.5th 146; 4 A.L.R.5th 148; 4 A.L.R.5th 210; 6 A.L.R.5th 534; 7 A.L.R.5th 1.

Liability of physician or surgeon for injury to child in pregnancy and childbirth cases, 99 A.L.R.2d 1398.

Hospital's liability for personal injury or death of doctor, nurse, or attendant, 1 A.L.R.3d 1036.

Physician's or surgeon's malpractice in connection with care and treatment of hemophiliac or diagnosis of hemophilia, 1 A.L.R.3d 1107.

Physician's or surgeon's malpractice in connection with diagnosis or treatment of rectal or anal disease, 5 A.L.R.3d 916.

Malpractice in connection with intravenous or other forced or involuntary feeding of patient, 6 A.L.R.3d 668.

Validity and construction of contract exempting hospital or doctor from liability for negligence to patient, 6 A.L.R.3d 704.

Applicability, in action against nurse in her professional capacity, of statute of limitations applicable to malpractice, 8 A.L.R.3d 1336.

Hospital's liability for negligence in connection with preparation, storage, or dispensing of drug or medicine, 9 A.L.R.3d 579.

Res ipsa loquitur in action against hospital for injury to patient, 9 A.L.R.3d 1315; 49 A.L.R.4th 63.

Malpractice: liability of physician, surgeon, anesthetist, or dentist for injury resulting from foreign object left in patient, 10 A.L.R.3d 9.

Physician's duties and liabilities to person examined pursuant to physician's contract with such person's prospective or actual employer or insurer, 10 A.L.R.3d 1071.

Malpractice: liability in connection with insertion of prosthetic or other corrective devices in patient's body, 14 A.L.R.3d 967.

Hospital's liability to patient for injury sustained from defective equipment furnished by hospital for use in diagnosis or treatment of patient, 14 A.L.R.3d 1254.

Scope of defendant's duty of pretrial discovery in medical malpractice action, 15 A.L.R.3d 1446.

Employer's liability to employee for malpractice of physician supplied by employer, 16 A.L.R.3d 564.

Malpractice: liability of physician or hospital where patient suffers heart attack or the like while undergoing unrelated medical procedure, 17 A.L.R.3d 796.

Malpractice in diagnosis and treatment of diseases or conditions of the heart or vascular system, 19 A.L.R.3d 825.

Malpractice: doctor's liability for mistakenly administering drug, 23 A.L.R.3d 1334.

Hospital's liability for injuries sustained by patient as a result of restraints imposed on movement, 25 A.L.R.3d 1450.

Medical malpractice, and measure and element damages, in connection with sterilization or birth control procedures, 27 A.L.R.3d 906.

Right to maintain malpractice suit against injured employee's attending physician notwithstanding receipt of workmen's compensation award, 28 A.L.R.3d 1066.

Malpractice in diagnosis and treatment of tetanus, 28 A.L.R.3d 1364.

Malpractice in connection with diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy, 30 A.L.R.3d 988.

Hospital's liability for injury or death to patient resulting from or connected with administration of anesthetic, 31 A.L.R.3d 1114.

Malpractice: admissibility of evidence that defendant physician has previously performed unnecessary operations, 33 A.L.R.3d 1056.

Malpractice: physician's failure to advise patient to consult specialist or one qualified in a method of treatment which physician is not qualified to give, 35 A.L.R.3d 349.

Liability of hospital for refusal to admit or treat patient, 35 A.L.R.3d 841.

Malpractice: attending physician's liability for injury caused by equipment furnished by hospital, 35 A.L.R.3d 1068.

Right of action for injury to or death of woman who consented to abortion, 36 A.L.R.3d 630.

Liability for negligence in diagnosing or treating aspirin poisoning, 36 A.L.R.3d 1358.

Malpractice: surgeon's liability for inadvertently injuring organ other than that intended to be operated on, 37 A.L.R.3d 464.

Release of one responsible for injury as affecting liability of physician or surgeon for negligent treatment of injury, 39 A.L.R.3d 260.

Duty of physician or nurse to assist patient while dressing or undressing, 41 A.L.R.3d 1351.

Recovery against physician on basis of breach of contract to achieve particular result or cure, 43 A.L.R.3d 1221.

Medical malpractice: liability for injury allegedly resulting from negligence in making hypodermic injection, 45 A.L.R.3d 731.

Malpractice: failure of physician to notify patient of unfavorable diagnosis or test, 49 A.L.R.3d 501.

Hospital's liability to patient for injury allegedly sustained from absence of particular equipment intended for use in diagnosis or treatment of patient, 50 A.L.R.3d 1141.

Liability of optometrist or optician for malpractice, 51 A.L.R.3d 1273.

Necessity and sufficiency of expert evidence to establish existence and extent of physician's duty to inform patient of risks of proposed treatment, 52 A.L.R.3d 1084.

Liability of hospital or medical practitioner under doctrine of strict liability in tort, or breach of warranty, for harm caused by drug, medical instrument, or similar device used in treating patient, 54 A.L.R.3d 258; 65 A.L.R.5th 357.

Liability of physician or hospital in the performance of cosmetic surgery upon the face, 54 A.L.R.3d 1255.

Chiropractor's liability for failure to refer patient to medical practitioner, 58 A.L.R.3d 590.

Druggist's civil liability for suicide consummated with drugs furnished by him, 58 A.L.R.3d 828.

Duty of physician or surgeon to warn or instruct nurse or attendant, 63 A.L.R.3d 1020.

Malpractice: physician's duty to inform patient of nature and hazards of radiation or x-ray treatments under the doctrine of informed consent, 69 A.L.R.3d 1223.

When statute of limitations commences to run against malpractice action based on leaving foreign substance in patient's body, 70 A.L.R.3d 7.

Medical malpractice: amendment purporting to change the nature of the action or theory of recovery, made after statute of limitations has run, as relating back to filing of original complaint, 70 A.L.R.3d 82.

Acupuncture as illegal practice of medicine, 72 A.L.R.3d 1257.

Discovery, in medical malpractice action, of names of other patients to whom defendant has given treatment similar to that allegedly injuring plaintiff, 74 A.L.R.3d 1055.

Tort liability of physician or hospital in connection with organ or tissue transplant procedures, 76 A.L.R.3d 890.

Malpractice in connection with diagnosis of cancer, 79 A.L.R.3d 915.

Tort liability for wrongfully causing one to be born, 83 A.L.R.3d 15; 74 A.L.R.4th 798.

Patient tort liability of rest, convalescent, or nursing homes, 83 A.L.R.3d 871.

Modern status of views as to general measure of physician's duty to inform patient of risks of proposed treatment, 88 A.L.R.3d 1008.

Malpractice: questions of consent in connection with treatment of genital or urinary organs, 89 A.L.R.3d 32.

Malpractice: liability of anesthetist for injuries from spinal anesthetics, 90 A.L.R.3d 775.

When statute of limitations begins to run against malpractice action in connection with sterilization or birth control procedures, 93 A.L.R.3d 218.

Malpractice in connection with electroshock treatment, 94 A.L.R.3d 317.

Medical malpractice: instruction as to exercise or use of injured member, 99 A.L.R.3d 901.

Modern status of "locality rule" in malpractice action against physician who is not a specialist, 99 A.L.R.3d 1133.

Medical malpractice: patient's failure to return, as directed, for examination or treatment as contributory negligence, 100 A.L.R.3d 723.

Application of rule of strict liability in tort to person or entity rendering medical services, 100 A.L.R.3d 1205.

Medical malpractice: administering or prescribing drugs for weight control, 1 A.L.R.4th 236.

Civil liability for physical measures undertaken in connection with treatment of mentally disordered patient, 8 A.L.R.4th 464.

Hospital's liability for patient's injury or death as result of fall from bed, 9 A.L.R.4th 149.

Medical malpractice: administering or prescribing birth control pills or devices, 9 A.L.R.4th 372.

Propriety, in medical malpractice case, of admitting testimony regarding physician's usual custom or habit in order to establish nonliability, 10 A.L.R.4th 1243.

Duty of medical practitioner to warn patient of subsequently discovered danger from treatment previously given, 12 A.L.R.4th 41.

Hospital's liability for negligence in failing to review or supervise treatment given by doctor, or to require consultation, 12 A.L.R.4th 57.

What constitutes physician-patient relationship for malpractice purposes, 17 A.L.R.4th 132.

Standard of care owed to patient by medical specialist as determined by local, "like community," state, national, or other standards, 18 A.L.R.4th 603.

Liability of hospital, physician, or other individual medical practitioner for injury or death resulting from blood transfusion, 20 A.L.R.4th 136.

Medical malpractice: instrument breaking in course of surgery or treatment, 20 A.L.R.4th 1179.

Malpractice liability based on prior treatment of mental disorder alleged to relate to patient's conviction of crime, 28 A.L.R.4th 712.

Patient's failure to reveal medical history to physician as contributory negligence or assumption of risk in defense of malpractice action, 33 A.L.R.4th 790.

Recovery for emotional distress resulting from statement of medical practitioner or official, allegedly constituting outrageous conduct, 34 A.L.R.4th 688.

Validity of state statute providing for periodic payment of future damages in medical malpractice action, 41 A.L.R.4th 275.

Medical malpractice: liability based on misrepresentation of the nature and hazards of treatment, 42 A.L.R.4th 543.

Physician's liability to third person for prescribing drug to known drug addict, 42 A.L.R.4th 586.

Liability of physician, for injury to or death of third party, due to failure to disclose driving-related impediment, 43 A.L.R.4th 153.

Liability of hospital or clinic for sexual relationships with patients by staff physicians, psychologists, and other healers, 45 A.L.R.4th 289.

Physician's tort liability for unauthorized disclosure of confidential information about patient, 48 A.L.R.4th 668.

Future disease or condition, or anxiety relating thereto, as element of recovery, 50 A.L.R.4th 13.

Liability of hospital or sanitarium for negligence of physician or surgeon, 51 A.L.R.4th 235.

Medical malpractice: "loss of chance" causality, 54 A.L.R.4th 10.

Tortious maintenance or removal of life supports, 58 A.L.R.4th 222.

Medical malpractice: hospital's liability for injury allegedly caused by failure to have properly qualified staff, 62 A.L.R.4th 692.

Liability for injury or death allegedly caused by activities of hospital "rescue team", 64 A.L.R.4th 1200.

Recovery in death action for failure to diagnose incurable disease which caused death, 64 A.L.R.4th 1232.

Medical practitioner's liability for treatment given child without parent's consent, 67 A.L.R.4th 511.

Applicability of res ipsa loquitur in case of multiple medical defendants - modern status, 67 A.L.R.4th 544.

Medical malpractice in performance of legal abortion, 69 A.L.R.4th 875.

Medical malpractice: presumption or inference from failure of hospital or doctor to produce relevant medical records, 69 A.L.R.4th 906.

Veterinarian's liability for malpractice, 71 A.L.R.4th 811.

Propriety and prejudicial effect of trial counsel's reference or suggestion in medical malpractice case that defendant is insured, 71 A.L.R.4th 1025.

Liability of osteopath for medical malpractice, 73 A.L.R.4th 24.

"Dual capacity doctrine" as basis for employee's recovery for medical malpractice from company medical personnel, 73 A.L.R.4th 115.

Liability for medical malpractice in connection with performance of circumcision, 75 A.L.R.4th 710.

Liability of hospital, physician, or other medical personnel for death or injury to mother or child caused by improper procedures during caesarean delivery, 76 A.L.R.4th 1112.

Liability for dental malpractice in provision or fitting of dentures, 77 A.L.R.4th 222.

Liability of chiropractors and other drugless practitioners for medical malpractice, 77 A.L.R.4th 273.

Medical malpractice: measure and elements of damages in actions based on loss of chance, 81 A.L.R.4th 485.

Liability of orthodontist for malpractice, 81 A.L.R.4th 632.

Medical malpractice: drug manufacturer's package insert recommendations as evidence of standard of care, 82 A.L.R.4th 166.

Malpractice involving hysterectomies and oophorectomies, 86 A.L.R.4th 18.

Gynecological malpractice not involving hysterectomies or oophorectomies, 86 A.L.R.4th 125.

Recoverability of cost of raising normal, healthy child born as result of physician's negligence or breach of contract or warranty, 89 A.L.R.4th 632.

Malpractice: physician's duty, under informed consent doctrine, to obtain patient's consent to treatment in pregnancy or childbirth cases, 89 A.L.R.4th 799.

What patient claims against doctor, hospital, or similar health care provider are not subject to statutes specifically governing actions and damages for medical malpractice, 89 A.L.R.4th 887.

Application of "firemen's rule" to bar recovery by emergency medical personnel injured in responding to, or at scene of, emergency, 89 A.L.R.4th 1079.

Liability of hospital, physician, or other medical personnel for death or injury to mother or child caused by improper administration of, or failure to administer, anesthesia or tranquilizers, or similar drugs, during labor and delivery, 1 A.L.R.5th 269.

Liability for incorrectly diagnosing existence or nature of pregnancy, 2 A.L.R.5th 769.

Liability of hospital, physician, or other medical personnel for death or injury to child caused by improper postdelivery diagnosis, care, and representations, 2 A.L.R.5th 811.

Liability of physician, nurse, or hospital for failure to contact physician or to keep physician sufficiently informed concerning status of mother during pregnancy, labor, and childbirth, 3 A.L.R.5th 123.

Liability of hospital, physician, or other medical personnel for death or injury to mother or child caused by inadequate attendance or monitoring of patient during and after pregnancy, labor, and delivery, 3 A.L.R.5th 146.

Liability of doctor or other health practitioner to third party contracting contagious disease from doctor's patient, 3 A.L.R.5th 370.

Liability of hospital, physician, or other medical personnel for death or injury to mother or child caused by improper choice between, or timing of, vaginal or cesarean delivery, 4 A.L.R.5th 148.

Liability of hospital, physician, or other medical personnel for death or injury to mother or child caused by improper procedures during vaginal delivery, 4 A.L.R.5th 210.

Liability of hospital, physician, or other medical personnel for death or injury to mother or child caused by improper treatment during labor, 6 A.L.R.5th 490.

Liability of hospital, physician, or other medical personnel for death or injury to mother caused by improper postdelivery diagnosis, care, and representations, 6 A.L.R.5th 534.

Liability of hospital, physician, or other medical personnel for death or injury to mother or child caused by improper diagnosis and treatment of mother relating to and during pregnancy, 7 A.L.R.5th 1.

Joint and several liability of physicians whose independent negligence in treatment of patient causes indivisible injury, 9 A.L.R.5th 746.

Medical malpractice: who are "health care providers," or the like, whose actions fall within statutes specifically governing actions and damages for medical malpractice, 12 A.L.R.5th 1.

Validity, construction, and application of state statutory provisions limiting amount of recovery in medical malpractice claims, 26 A.L.R.5th 245.

Ophthalmological malpractice, 30 A.L.R.5th 571.

Allowance of punitive damages in medical malpractice action, 35 A.L.R.5th 145.

Medical malpractice in connection with diagnosis, care, or treatment of diabetes, 43 A.L.R.5th 87.

Propriety of, and liability related to, issuance or enforcement of do not resuscitate orders, 46 A.L.R.5th 793.

Malpractice: physician's liability for injury or death resulting from side effects of drugs intentionally administered to or prescribed for patient, 47 A.L.R.5th 433.

Malpractice in diagnosis and treatment of male urinary tract and related organs, 48 A.L.R.5th 575.

Liability of health maintenance organizations (HMOs) for negligence of member physicians, 51 A.L.R.5th 271.

Malpractice in diagnosis or treatment of meningitis, 51 A.L.R.5th 301.

Liability for donee's contraction of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) from blood transfusion, 64 A.L.R.5th 333.

Discovery, in medical malpractice action, of names and medical records of other patients to whom defendant has given treatment similar to that allegedly injuring plaintiff, 66 A.L.R.5th 591.

Physical injury requirement for emotional distress claim based on false positive conclusion on medical test diagnosing disease, 69 A.L.R.5th 411.

Contributory negligence or comparative negligence based on failure of patient to follow instructions as defense in action against physician or surgeon for medical malpractice, 84 A.L.R.5th 619.

Medical negligence in extraction of tooth, established through expert testimony, 18 A.L.R.6th 325.

Medical malpractice in diagnosis and treatment of cancer of male reproductive system, 96 A.L.R.6th 503.

Medical malpractice in diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancer, 95 A.L.R.6th 541.

Medical malpractice in diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer, 94 A.L.R.6th 431.

Medical malpractice in diagnosis and treatment of cancer of female reproductive system, 93 A.L.R.6th 123.

Medical malpractice in diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, 92 A.L.R.6th 379.

Liability for Malpractice in Diagnosis or Misdiagnosis of, or Treatment for, Migraine, 41 A.L.R.7th Art. 6.

Medical Malpractice in Failing to Diagnose or Properly Treat Multiple Sclerosis, or Misdiagnosing Another Condition as Multiple Sclerosis, 41 A.L.R.7th Art. 13.

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