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Expert testimony in medical malpractice cases can be tricky

The fate of medical malpractice cases can hinge on the testimony given by other medical professionals. Expert witnesses are sometimes called to either show that the doctor in question acted in a substandard manner or that he or she acted in accordance with the standard of care the patient could have expected.

Doctors who testify often face a difficult situation if a colleague didn't act appropriately. They either tell the truth and go against their colleague or they lie to protect their colleague.

One doctor has come forth recently and said that he lied when he was called as a witness in a medical malpractice case. The case was against one of his partners. The partner performed surgery on the patient. That patient suffered a stroke after the operation and was disabled as a result.

The partner's fitness as a doctor came into question. When he was called to the stand, the doctor said that he hadn't ever known of a time in which his partner's care for a patient was substandard. The doctor is now retired and has come forward to say that he lied in that testimony.

It is unknown how often doctors lie in court to cover for other doctors. For some medical professionals, telling a lie to cover for a colleague is commonplace. It is just how things are done by some, but that doesn't make it right. Because of this, people who are waging war against doctors in malpractice lawsuits need to find expert witnesses to testify that will dispute what the other side's expert witnesses say.

Source: NPR, "Doctor Confesses: I Lied To Protect Colleague In Malpractice Suit," Marshall Allen, Sep. 23, 2016

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