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Code of Ethics

Ethical Considerations on Expert Witnessing

Expert witnesses are necessary for litigations involving an injury that developed due to a trauma, a burn or a botched procedure. An expert witness plastic surgeon, for example, takes the stand in court to provide expert testimony on a case where reconstructive surgery is involved.  The courts rely on these expert testimonies to prove the validity of medical malpractice litigation in both a criminal or a civil proceeding or a personal injury case. An expert witness also helps identify the standards that have been breached or neglected to cause such an injury.

What Expert Witnesses Do

Expert witnesses in plastic surgery usually work alongside the investigations done by insurance companies, the police, and the defendant’s and prosecution’s law firms. They conduct a review of the medical records in evidence, examine and evaluate the victims or clients, provide photographic evidence related to the case and create a report citing the standards of care in their field of medicine. As such, expert witness plastic surgeons are bound by the Code of Ethics of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons.  Below are some of the ethical considerations to expert witnessing:
  1. An expert witness must be a duly licensed professional with a depth of knowledge on the medical issue under litigation.
It goes without saying that the expert witness must be a qualified and licensed health care provider who is a specialist in the procedure being litigated. He must also have at least three years of professional experience and be knowledgeable on the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of this particular medical issue. According to the Florida Bar, being a medical doctor doesn’t instantly mean that the expert witness is qualified to share his evaluation and opinion in court. He must have had practice and continuing education in the particular field of medicine that relates to the case, just like Dr. Zaydon, an expert witness plastic surgeon in Miami. The expert’s depth of knowledge must be properly demonstrated in court as well.
  1. An expert witness must not provide biased testimony. 
The doctor testifying in a case in court must be able to back his testimony with objective, scientific or technical facts. He will need to cite evidence, such as peer-reviewed plastic surgery literature, in a fair, honest and impartial manner. He might even have to demonstrate the medical outcomes of a breach or neglect in the standards of care. According to the American Medical Association, the testimony of expert witnesses must:
  • Reflect prevailing and widely-accepted scientific standards by his peers in the field.
  • Characterize and defend theories appropriately if it’s not widely-accepted among professionals. 
  • Always consider the prevailing standards of practice 
  1. An expert witness cannot accept payment that is contingent on the outcome of the case.
It is most appropriate and ethical for an expert witness to declare her rate by the hour. If the case leads to a successful outcome, it would be wrong for the expert witness to expect additional compensation, according to Law, Probability and Risk Expert witnesses who would be proven to provide false claims, dishonest testimonies or seek compensation for more than what was agreed upon will be subjected to the medical licensing board for disciplinary action. 

About Dr. Zaydon – expert witness plastic surgeon Miami

Dr. Zaydon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He is also a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Zaydon serves as an expert witness on liability cases around the country. He has reviewed many cases and has served as an expert witness for both plaintiff and defendant. For inquiries, Contact Us.Code of Ethics The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

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