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3. How can I determine whether or not a doctor has exercised "reasonable skill and care" in administering medical treatment or carrying out an operation? Are there any special standards that can be taken into consideration?

The standard of a doctor's skill and care is determined with reference to the state of the doctor’s knowledge at the time of treatment. Advancements in medical science or medical knowledge between the date of the alleged negligence incident and the date of the court trial should be ignored. Evidence that relates to the state of knowledge and standard practice in other countries may not be relevant to the standard of care that applies to doctors in Hong Kong.

 

Also, standards of skill and care are determined with reference to the specialty of the defendant doctor. Medical specialists are required to meet the standard of an ordinary competent member in their field of specialty, but are not required to meet the standard of the most experienced or highly qualified member of that specialty. When considering the standard of an "ordinary competent member", you should seek advice from an impartial medical expert in the relevant specialty.

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