Legal Nurse Consulting Program Article on the Emergency Doctrine

In malpractice cases, emergency doctrine is sometimes applied.  It looks at the situation, the urgency and the time of reflection needed to make a professional medical decision.  If the person acts due to the unexpected emergency within a valued norm, then negligence is overlooked in some cases.

The article, “The Emergency Doctrine Revisited” by Thomas A. Moore and Matthew Gaier look at this doctrine and its application.  They state,

“The emergency doctrine is a common law rule premised on the understanding “that when an actor is faced with a sudden and unexpected circumstance which leaves little or no time for thought, deliberation or consideration, or causes the actor to be reasonably so disturbed that the actor must make a speedy decision without weighing alternative courses of conduct, the actor may not be negligent if the actions taken are reasonable and prudent in the emergency context.”

To read the entire article, please click here

Medical error can become less culpable or forgiven in some cases according to the Emergency Doctrine. Please also review our Legal Nurse Consulting Program


This doctrine plays interesting roles in cases if it is permitted to be considered.  To learn more, please review our Legal Nurse Consulting Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.