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Questioning Strategy during a Deposition

The doctor refuses to acknowledge and admit that he has violated the basic standards of medical care. In a medical malpractice case, it is critical for the plaintiff's lawyer to get the doctor to admit during pretrial testimony, why he violated the basic and accepted standards of care. In an actual medical malpractice case, an anesthesiologist improperly administered an anesthetic medication that caused the plaintiff to suffer a cardiac arrest.

Since the anesthesiologist administered the medication improperly, the surgery had to be cancelled, and the patient continued to have ongoing problems.

Critical to Establish Violation of Basic Standards of Medical Care

During the course of pretrial testimony, it was critical for the plaintiff's lawyer to establish that the doctor had violated the basic standards of medical care. This is important because when the case goes to trial, the lawyer can use the doctor's testimony that he gave during the pretrial question and answer session, under oath. This previous testimony given by the doctor during the deposition can be shown to the jury as evidence, which shows what the doctor did was improper.

Strategy for Making the Doctor Admit Negligence

The lawyer will use a strategy during deposition to make the doctor admit that he has violated the basic standards of medical care. The lawyer will start by asking the doctor what are the standards of care in a situation involving this particular type of patient. Hence, before transitioning into the details of the case, the lawyer will want the doctor to explain the standards of care required for treating a patient with the particular problem. The doctor has no other alternative but to tell the lawyer, what magnificent and sagacious medical practice is.

Once the doctor has explained the different steps required in the situation, which are in accordance to proper standards of medical care, the lawyer will then question the doctor about what happened with his client. The lawyer will now point out that his client needed certain things, but instead was given the wrong medication, and therefore there was violation of basic standard of care.

The lawyer will be asking a series of questions to reveal all the things that the doctor did or did not do. It is important for the lawyer to get the doctor to acknowledge, even if it is hypothetically that he had violated the basic standards of care because he had not done the required procedure or he had not administered the right medication.

The End Game

The deposition being a question and answer session, the lawyer has to choose the questions and their sequence carefully. First, he has to establish what the basic standards of medical care are in that situation. This is done by asking the doctor himself, what he considers is the right series of steps that would not violate basic standards of medical care. The lawyer will then use this same testimony given by the doctor against him. The lawyer will then ask if these steps were followed when the doctor was treating his client. The doctor then does not have much choice but to agree and concur that there was violation of standard of care.

It is only logical at this point for the medical professional to do so.

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