Clin Dermatol. 2012 Mar;30(2):174-80.
Ethical considerations in alleged dermatologic malpractice.
Anderson J, Kels BD, Grant-Kels JM.
Department of Dermatology, University of Connecticut Health Center, 21 South Road, Farmington, CT 06030-6231, USA.
Although dermatology does not lead the list of specialties most commonly sued for malpractice, anyone who has been the recipient of a malpractice claim is often traumatized both personally and professionally. Every day dermatologists must address various ethical concerns that have legal implications. Herein, we chose to discuss the following such issues: (1) the ethical and legal necessity of submitting a clinically benign appearing lesion for dermatopathologic review; (2) the ethical and legal considerations regarding frequency of screening after a patient has been diagnosed with melanoma; (3) the multiple ethical and legal considerations involved with the misdiagnosis of a melanoma; (4) the complex ethical and legal considerations of a dermatologist making a clinical diagnosis in a nonprofessional social and public setting; and (5) the ethical and legal implications of sharing care of patients with other dermatologists and specialists.