Wednesday, October 05, 2022 6:09 p.m. GMT
OCTOBER 5 — Subject: “Register of experts in the case of specialist writers for medical reports commissioned for court cases” published in malaysian mail on October 2, 2022.
The Medical Protection Society (MPS), which protects and supports the professional interests of over 4,000 healthcare professionals in Malaysia and nearly 300,000 healthcare professionals worldwide, believes that providing an expert opinion medical is an interesting and rewarding role that could be considered an integral part of professional practice.
A medical expert’s opinion is crucial in civil, coronary, criminal, and regulatory matters, as well as clinical negligence claims. He can determine the conduct of an investigation, and the referring doctors are required to do so. The standard against which the physician is measured is set to a large extent by expert medical witnesses.
Expert medical advice is crucial in civil, coronary, criminal, and regulatory matters, as well as clinical negligence claims. — Stock Photo iStock
If an expert report leads to an unnecessary escalation of a case, there can be significant implications (including distress, anger, lack of closure, and involvement in legal proceedings) for patients and their families. For doctors, an unfavorable opinion can lead to a loss of career and reputation.
It is therefore essential to have high-quality, up-to-date experts who have received appropriate training and are capable of delivering a balanced report. The duty of medical experts is to the court and not to the lawyers who hired them. In our experience as a global organization, we have noticed concerns about the difficulty of accessing good quality experts and the reluctance of physicians to take on this role. The reasons for this situation are many and complex.
MPS supports the call for a roster of available medical experts and we would like to see more physicians encouraged to learn the skills necessary to provide expert opinion. We believe that all physicians should be able to act as experts if they have had the proper training. After acquiring the necessary skills, physicians should be able to provide a balanced expert opinion, based on up-to-date guidelines and current evidence, as to whether the care provided was of a reasonable standard.
We would like physicians and healthcare organizations, including employers, to consider case analysis and report writing as essential skills. Promoting the acquisition and use of these skills would have potential benefits for patients, healthcare professionals and society as a whole.
Dr Mohamed Faruqi Uzair Mohamed Sidek
Forensic Consultant, Medical Protection Society
* This is the personal opinion of the author or organization and does not necessarily represent the views of Malaysian courier.