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Medical professionals owe their patients what is known as a ‘duty of care’. This means that they have an obligation to provide an appropriate standard of care and to protect you against harm.
Medical negligence is where a healthcare professional fails to achieve this standard, for example, an incorrect diagnosis, negligent treatment or the failure to perform surgery to an appropriate standard expected of a reasonable medical practitioner.
Where the standard of care falls below the level expected and you suffer injury as a result, as a patient you are able to bring a claim for medical negligence against your doctor and/or other medical practitioners for breaching this duty of care owed to you.
In addition to ensuring that an appropriate level of care is adopted, medical practitioners also have a duty to advise you of potential risks so that you can make an informed decision about whether you wish to go ahead and proceed with your treatment or surgery. This means you must have provided valid consent. If you did not consent or were not advised properly of the risks of your treatment, you may have a claim for clinical negligence.
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