F: Appellant Morrison brought suit against a Washington DC area laboratory for medical malpractice.
Appellees argued that the laboratory owed only the duty to adhere to that standard of medical care recognized in the
Washington D.C. metropolitan area.
TC agreed with appellees. (local standard)
Appellant went to a laboratory for a urethral smear test, for a urinary tract infection.
The test was administered while Appellant was standing.
Appellant had an adverse reaction to the test, fainted, and struck his head on a metal stand and on the floor, causing permanent loss of his senses of smell and taste.
I: Whether laboratory was under a duty to adhere to nationally accepted standards or local standard for administering the
urethral smear test.
R: laboratory was under a duty to adhere to nationally accepted standards for administering the test, rather than local standard
A: Medical laboratories are often staffed and operated by doctors who undergo the same rigorous training as other physicians.
The opportunities for keeping abreast of medical advances that are available to doctors are equally available to clinical
Indeed medical laboratories are often an integral part of a hospital.
Moreover, clinical laboratories generally conduct many of the routine tests that would normally be performed by physicians and hospitals.
Accordingly, they owe similar duties in their care and treatment of patients.
The court holds that at least as to board certified physicians, hospitals, medical laboratories, and other health care providers, the standard of care is to be measured by the national standard.
Co: national standard v. local standard