Question about reasonable person

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agathos
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Question about reasonable person

Postby agathos » Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:07 pm

When defendant is a doctor , the judge should instruct the jury the rule is that a reasonable person will use the relevent special knowledge he has , not a higher standard of care? or the other way round?
It looks like My professor think the higher standard of care is right. I am not sure...

shock259
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Re: Question about reasonable person

Postby shock259 » Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:11 pm

We haven't gotten there in my torts class yet, but I'm assuming that a professional like a doctor should be held to a professional standard of care.

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Emma.
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Re: Question about reasonable person

Postby Emma. » Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:22 pm

Yeah, the higher standard, at least for doctors. Some case about Spanish measles or something is the one on point.

agathos
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Re: Question about reasonable person

Postby agathos » Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:33 pm

thanks for all of you... :D

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Judge Philip Banks
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Re: Question about reasonable person

Postby Judge Philip Banks » Sat Sep 10, 2011 12:56 am

Emma. wrote:Yeah, the higher standard, at least for doctors. Some case about Spanish measles or something is the one on point.

I think this is an inaccurate statement of the standard of due care. My understanding is that it is NOT a higher standard. The standard is still the reasonable person under the circumstances (reasonable prudent person (RPP) standard). Here, the expertise of a medical professional is a circumstance that is taken into consideration when deciding what is reasonable in this situation. So, a professional acting in his/her professional capacity is expected to possess and employ the skill and knowledge of his/her profession, not of the “ordinary reasonable person.” The standard remains the same however. The whole point of the RPP standard is that it is objective and is to be applied to many different situations, taking into account the circumstances.

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bport hopeful
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Re: Question about reasonable person

Postby bport hopeful » Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:33 am

I think people get tripped up here (and Im only in week 2 so Im likely in that boat too) but I feel like people try to adjust the Reasonableness Standard when really all these intro cases do is define it.

The standard of care is the same with a doctor. They need to act reasonably to avoid negligence, but what a reasonable action is is dependent on their special skills or knowledge.

This is my understanding at least, but we only started this today...

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Glock
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Re: Question about reasonable person

Postby Glock » Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:52 am

RRP is right, but remember that doctors are not judged by their individual knowledge- they are judged by the standard of care for doctors in their field. A 1st year OBGYN will be judged by the standard of care for all OBGYNs.

I have seen this come up on multiple choice and short answer questions. Where a rookie commits a mistake that is reasonable for a rookie but a veteran would know better. Generally that is going to be a lack of reasonable care.

sidhesadie
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Re: Question about reasonable person

Postby sidhesadie » Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:06 am

I'm also a new 1L a couple weeks in, but our contracts prof said it's: a reasonable person similarly situated but without being so specific that you mean only someone exactly like that person (so, that would track in my mind with what Glock said, OBGYN would be judged based on the expectations in general of the knowledge of an OBGYN, but you can't get so specific as 'a first year OBGYN who went to X med school in Y state" because then you've obliterated the purpose of the reasonable person instead of just 'this defendant'.)

But I am a 1L so for god's sake don't listen to me! ;0

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Judge Philip Banks
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Re: Question about reasonable person

Postby Judge Philip Banks » Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:07 am

Glock wrote:RRP is right, but remember that doctors are not judged by their individual knowledge- they are judged by the standard of care for doctors in their field. A 1st year OBGYN will be judged by the standard of care for all OBGYNs.

I have seen this come up on multiple choice and short answer questions. Where a rookie commits a mistake that is reasonable for a rookie but a veteran would know better. Generally that is going to be a lack of reasonable care.

Exactly. Professionals or experts are held to the level of reasonable care of their profession, whatever that may be. But the standard is still the reasonable under the circumstances standard. These are just specialized situations where one of the circumstances to be considered is that the actor is a professional acting in their professional capacity. But, just so it is clear for the OP: the standard is always the objective "reasonable person under the circumstances" standard. The level of care might increase due to one's expertise, but the standard is still the same.

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Judge Philip Banks
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Re: Question about reasonable person

Postby Judge Philip Banks » Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:08 am

sidhesadie wrote:I'm also a new 1L a couple weeks in, but our contracts prof said it's: a reasonable person similarly situated but without being so specific that you mean only someone exactly like that person (so, that would track in my mind with what Glock said, OBGYN would be judged based on the expectations in general of the knowledge of an OBGYN, but you can't get so specific as 'a first year OBGYN who went to X med school in Y state" because then you've obliterated the purpose of the reasonable person instead of just 'this defendant'.)

But I am a 1L so for god's sake don't listen to me! ;0

Yes, I think you are right on the money with this. Objective standard rather than subjective standard.

sidhesadie
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Re: Question about reasonable person

Postby sidhesadie » Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:11 am

cool, I'm actually getting something! tee hee...

truevines
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Re: Question about reasonable person

Postby truevines » Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:13 am

sidhesadie wrote:I'm also a new 1L a couple weeks in, but our contracts prof said it's: a reasonable person similarly situated but without being so specific that you mean only someone exactly like that person (so, that would track in my mind with what Glock said, OBGYN would be judged based on the expectations in general of the knowledge of an OBGYN, but you can't get so specific as 'a first year OBGYN who went to X med school in Y state" because then you've obliterated the purpose of the reasonable person instead of just 'this defendant'.)

But I am a 1L so for god's sake don't listen to me! ;0


I am a 3L, but I think 1Ls are the best to answer this question . . . .

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Judge Philip Banks
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Re: Question about reasonable person

Postby Judge Philip Banks » Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:13 am

I'm just a 1L a few weeks in, too. So maybe we're all wrong... (But I don't think we are.) :)

sidhesadie
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Re: Question about reasonable person

Postby sidhesadie » Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:58 pm

I don't think we are, either. See how smart we are?
hehe

agathos
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Re: Question about reasonable person

Postby agathos » Sat Sep 10, 2011 9:38 pm

Judge Philip Banks wrote:
Emma. wrote:Yeah, the higher standard, at least for doctors. Some case about Spanish measles or something is the one on point.

I think this is an inaccurate statement of the standard of due care. My understanding is that it is NOT a higher standard. The standard is still the reasonable person under the circumstances (reasonable prudent person (RPP) standard). Here, the expertise of a medical professional is a circumstance that is taken into consideration when deciding what is reasonable in this situation. So, a professional acting in his/her professional capacity is expected to possess and employ the skill and knowledge of his/her profession, not of the “ordinary reasonable person.” The standard remains the same however. The whole point of the RPP standard is that it is objective and is to be applied to many different situations, taking into account the circumstances.

That is the promble! Many supplement and hornbook agree with your opinion(So do I )! However, my professor just said higher standard test... I can not figure out which is right . So I just remember what my professor agree with, writing this view in her final exam..But I still stick to the "right " opinion

LoyalRebel
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Re: Question about reasonable person

Postby LoyalRebel » Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:14 pm

Didn't read the conversation in this thread so far, but my professor puts it like this:

"A doctor (or any professional) will be held to the same standard of care as a reasonable, prudent, person... who is a doctor (or any professional)."

We even went over a case that addressed the issue of uniformity in the available training and capability of doctors in various parts of the country. Since there's now less of a difference in training of doctors (national certification, etc), there's been a movement to hold doctors to a national standard, rather than a local one.

Hope that helps. :)

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Judge Philip Banks
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Re: Question about reasonable person

Postby Judge Philip Banks » Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:18 pm

agathos wrote:
Judge Philip Banks wrote:
Emma. wrote:Yeah, the higher standard, at least for doctors. Some case about Spanish measles or something is the one on point.

I think this is an inaccurate statement of the standard of due care. My understanding is that it is NOT a higher standard. The standard is still the reasonable person under the circumstances (reasonable prudent person (RPP) standard). Here, the expertise of a medical professional is a circumstance that is taken into consideration when deciding what is reasonable in this situation. So, a professional acting in his/her professional capacity is expected to possess and employ the skill and knowledge of his/her profession, not of the “ordinary reasonable person.” The standard remains the same however. The whole point of the RPP standard is that it is objective and is to be applied to many different situations, taking into account the circumstances.

That is the promble! Many supplement and hornbook agree with your opinion(So do I )! However, my professor just said higher standard test... I can not figure out which is right . So I just remember what my professor agree with, writing this view in her final exam..But I still stick to the "right " opinion

Yeah, the supplements and hornbook say otherwise, but just go with what your professor said. Or, you can ask her for clarification, and maybe she will realize she misstated and give you a more accurate explanation.

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Emma.
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Re: Question about reasonable person

Postby Emma. » Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:33 pm

agathos wrote:
Judge Philip Banks wrote:
Emma. wrote:Yeah, the higher standard, at least for doctors. Some case about Spanish measles or something is the one on point.

I think this is an inaccurate statement of the standard of due care. My understanding is that it is NOT a higher standard. The standard is still the reasonable person under the circumstances (reasonable prudent person (RPP) standard). Here, the expertise of a medical professional is a circumstance that is taken into consideration when deciding what is reasonable in this situation. So, a professional acting in his/her professional capacity is expected to possess and employ the skill and knowledge of his/her profession, not of the “ordinary reasonable person.” The standard remains the same however. The whole point of the RPP standard is that it is objective and is to be applied to many different situations, taking into account the circumstances.

That is the promble! Many supplement and hornbook agree with your opinion(So do I )! However, my professor just said higher standard test... I can not figure out which is right . So I just remember what my professor agree with, writing this view in her final exam..But I still stick to the "right " opinion


The point is, where medical knowledge is concerned, doctors are held to the standard of a "reasonable doctor," which could arguably be considered a "higher" standard than the ordinary (non-MD) reasonable person. However, not all professionals are necessarily held to a different standard just based on their professional experience and knowledge.

While the reasonable person standard might be adapted to account for a person's superior skills or knowledge, it is rarely adapted for downward deviations. In other words you can't claim you should be held to a lower standard of care because you have a sub-par IQ or something.

thrillerjesus
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Re: Question about reasonable person

Postby thrillerjesus » Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:41 am

It's the same standard of a "reasonable person in similar circumstances." The practical difference is that whereas in, for example, a negligence case about injuries from a car accident, the jury will rely on their own personal experience and knowledge of how reasonable drivers behave, in the case of medical malpractice the jury will rely on the testimony of other doctors as expert witnesses regarding what the appropriate standard of care delivered by a reasonable doctor is.

HTH.

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Emma.
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Re: Question about reasonable person

Postby Emma. » Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:29 pm

thrillerjesus wrote:It's the same standard of a "reasonable person in similar circumstances." The practical difference is that whereas in, for example, a negligence case about injuries from a car accident, the jury will rely on their own personal experience and knowledge of how reasonable drivers behave, in the case of medical malpractice the jury will rely on the testimony of other doctors as expert witnesses regarding what the appropriate standard of care delivered by a reasonable doctor is.

HTH.


You're missing the point, IMO. What makes this at all tricky is figuring out which of those "similar circumstances" get taken into account, and which don't.

thrillerjesus
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Re: Question about reasonable person

Postby thrillerjesus » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:08 am

Emma. wrote:
thrillerjesus wrote:It's the same standard of a "reasonable person in similar circumstances." The practical difference is that whereas in, for example, a negligence case about injuries from a car accident, the jury will rely on their own personal experience and knowledge of how reasonable drivers behave, in the case of medical malpractice the jury will rely on the testimony of other doctors as expert witnesses regarding what the appropriate standard of care delivered by a reasonable doctor is.

HTH.


You're missing the point, IMO. What makes this at all tricky is figuring out which of those "similar circumstances" get taken into account, and which don't.


Um, no. There's no trick to it at all. When a doctor testifies, "This is the standard of care", that's all there is to it, provided the jury believes the testimony.

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crossarmant
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Re: Question about reasonable person

Postby crossarmant » Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:18 pm

The standard of reasonable care stands at the of just a reasonable person, regardless of low mental capacity. However, it changes for those with special abilities or higher intellect. So yes, a doctor's standard of reasonable care would be higher than that of the "reasonable person".

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Emma.
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Re: Question about reasonable person

Postby Emma. » Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:20 pm

thrillerjesus wrote:
Emma. wrote:
thrillerjesus wrote:It's the same standard of a "reasonable person in similar circumstances." The practical difference is that whereas in, for example, a negligence case about injuries from a car accident, the jury will rely on their own personal experience and knowledge of how reasonable drivers behave, in the case of medical malpractice the jury will rely on the testimony of other doctors as expert witnesses regarding what the appropriate standard of care delivered by a reasonable doctor is.

HTH.


You're missing the point, IMO. What makes this at all tricky is figuring out which of those "similar circumstances" get taken into account, and which don't.


Um, no. There's no trick to it at all. When a doctor testifies, "This is the standard of care", that's all there is to it, provided the jury believes the testimony.


:roll:

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sundance95
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Re: Question about reasonable person

Postby sundance95 » Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:53 pm

thrillerjesus wrote:It's the same standard of a "reasonable person in similar circumstances." The practical difference is that whereas in, for example, a negligence case about injuries from a car accident, the jury will rely on their own personal experience and knowledge of how reasonable drivers behave, in the case of medical malpractice the jury will rely on the testimony of other doctors as expert witnesses regarding what the appropriate standard of care delivered by a reasonable doctor is.

HTH.

Your 'practical difference' is a distinction.

thrillerjesus
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Re: Question about reasonable person

Postby thrillerjesus » Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:29 am

sundance95 wrote:
thrillerjesus wrote:It's the same standard of a "reasonable person in similar circumstances." The practical difference is that whereas in, for example, a negligence case about injuries from a car accident, the jury will rely on their own personal experience and knowledge of how reasonable drivers behave, in the case of medical malpractice the jury will rely on the testimony of other doctors as expert witnesses regarding what the appropriate standard of care delivered by a reasonable doctor is.

HTH.

Your 'practical difference' is a distinction.


Yes, in practice there is a distinction, which is what I said. The concept is the same though. The only difference is that when the question is one of professional responsibility the "reasonable person in similar circumstances" is equated with the customary standard of care in that profession. As opposed to the jury getting to just use their own intuition about what is reasonable. This is not complicated.




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