Physician’s record keeping and review of symptoms did not fall below standard of care

Health Law - Malpractice - Negligence

Defendant physician was patient’s family doctor and saw him on regular basis, including for periodic health review in February 2011 where patient reported that he felt “generally well”. Patient’s cardiac risk factors were low, and he had not previously reported any symptoms of angina to physician. In June of 2011, patient reported that since July 2010, he had been experiencing intermittent dyspepsia, followed by presyncope and occasional left arm discomfort (“triad of symptoms”). Physician made referral for stress test to rule out cardiac-related cause of triad of symptoms, which was not sent, and patient died in August 2011 as result of advanced coronary artery disease. Plaintiffs, who were patient’s estate and family, alleged that physician breached standard of care of family physician by failing to ask questions during February 2011 physical examination which would have elicited triad of symptoms. Plaintiffs brought action against physician for damages. Action dismissed. Physician’s record keeping and review of symptoms did not fall below standard of care of family physician conducting periodic health examination in February 2011. Standard of care of family physician conducting review of symptoms required only that physician ask question of patient, it did not require that physician elicit specific response. Patient was not experiencing significant symptoms in February 2011 and therefore, no level of questioning would have elicited triad of symptoms. There was no evidence that patient was not candid in his responses to physician’s questions, and patient was not individual who downplayed symptoms or failed to disclose health concerns. Physician had followed his usual practice throughout period of time that he was treating patient.

The Estate of Carlo DeMarco et al. v. Dr. Martin et al. (2019), 2019 CarswellOnt 6852, 2019 ONSC 2788, A.K. Mitchell J. (Ont. S.C.J.).

Case Law is a weekly summary of notable civil and criminal court decisions by the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Canada and all Ontario courts. These cases may be found online in WestlawNext Canada. To subscribe, please visit store.thomsonreuters.ca

Free newsletter

Our newsletter is FREE and keeps you up to date on all the developments in the Ontario legal community. Please enter your email address below to subscribe.

Recent articles & video

Health minister committed systemic discrimination in treatment of midwives’ pay: Ontario court

Enhanced access to justice needs more than lawyers and paralegals: report

Criminal Lawyers’ Association filling mentor-gap with new online educational series

OBA's taxation law section names first female chairperson, Angela Salvatore

COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act to amend Justices of the Peace Act and Provincial Offences Act

OHRC tells Sudbury landlords they cannot discriminate based on receipt of public assistance

Most Read Articles

Canadian Constitution Foundation suggests amendments to mandatory mask order in Ontario

Windsor’s new associate dean to advance Indigenous law in legal education

Ontario and Superior Courts of Justice embark on first phase of reopening

Criminal Lawyers’ Association filling mentor-gap with new online educational series