Factual Testimony vs. Medical Expert Witness Testimony: What's the Difference?
Published: Thursday, 30 September 2010 13:22
A physician's partner or colleague has been sued for malpractice, and that physician has been subpoenaed by the plaintiff to give testimony about what happened. The subpoenaed physician believes that his partner's/colleagues's care did indeed deviate from recognized standards. While he must be honest, he is also reluctant to say things that could ruin his friend's career, and perhaps jeopardize his relationship. Fortunately, the situation may not be as bad as it seems.
A physician can be compelled to testify about what he knows and what he did. But he cannot be subpoenaed to offer an opinion on what his colleague should have known or should have done. Courts distinguish between factual testimony -- the knowledge of what he saw, what he did, and what he said -- and what is thought about what someone else did--so called, expert witness testimony.
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