Legal risks in saying "I'm sorry"

Although practitioners would prefer to work without legal risk, professional, ethical and legal standards and expectations do apply to all their professional activities. There are a number of practical measures that theveterinarian may implement to minimise the risk;1 nonetheless most veterinarians are likely, at some point intheir career, to have to deal with an adverse event.2 It might be a missed diagnosis or a miscalculated drugdose, or one of a multitude of other possibilities that results in the deterioration or even death of an animal.How the veterinarian (and veterinary staff ) deal with owners/clients after such an event is likely to have asignificant impact on the potential outcomes, including whether or not the matter is referred for disciplinaryconsideration and/or legal action.

by Ian Robertson

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