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Establishing the Standard of Care

The courts have delegated the setting of professional standards to members of the various professions. This is in contrast to the standards for nonprofessional skills, such as driving a car. The legislature establishes the rules of the road, and a lay juror is deemed capable of determining when they have been violated. In contrast, legislatures do not adopt detailed standards for professional practice. Medical practice standards are drawn from the customs and behavior of the members of the profession. If the profession has developed documents that reflect a consensus on how the profession is to be practiced, these documents will set the standard for judging individual transgressions.



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