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Examples of medical breaches of the duty of care

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2024 | Medical Malpractice

Doctors and medical staff owe patients a duty of care. This duty arises from the moment that a medical facility sees a patient.

For the most part, medical staff meet the required standards in the profession, but this isn’t always the case. There may be occasions where patients are treated to an unacceptable standard.

What are some of the more common examples of medical breaches of the duty of care?


Upon initial assessment, the first step a doctor should take is to accurately diagnose the condition in as timely a manner as possible. In some cases, this may be relatively straightforward. The doctor may visually recognize the condition or be able to diagnose it from the patient’s symptoms and descriptions. In other cases, obtaining an accurate diagnosis may be more difficult, and the doctor may need to order tests and consult with other medical staff.

If a doctor fails to diagnose a condition accurately or fails to seek further help and medical tests, this could amount to a breach of the duty of care.

Administering the wrong medication

Some ailments can be treated by a course of medication. Doctors should be able to prescribe the appropriate medications in the right quantities. Prescribing the wrong type of medication or the wrong dosage is a potential breach of the duty of care that can result in significant harm to the patient.

Premature discharge

In some cases, a patient may have to stay in the hospital. This often happens when conditions are serious or surgery needs to be performed. A crucial part of medical treatment that is often overlooked is aftercare. A patient should not be discharged from the hospital before it is safe for them to leave.

If you feel like your medical team let you down, and you suffered physical and/or psychological harm as a result, this could be malpractice. Seeking legal guidance will give you a better idea of whether or not you could be entitled to financial compensation.