Just as every motorist owes a duty to other road users to take reasonable care, health professionals are also under a common law duty to take reasonable care for the safety and well being of their patients. Breaches of that duty may give rise to claims for damages. The main difference is that while most people are able, as a matter of common sense, to decide whether driving a car in a particular way in particular circumstances is careless, many medical treatments involve highly specialised and technical skills. A court will usually need evidence from medical specialists about correct procedures and usual safeguards followed in particular medical treatments before a decision can be made about whether or not a particular health professional has been so careless in providing that treatment to a patient as to be considered negligent.
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