Lwati: A Journal of Contemporary Research

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Doctor-patient relationship: a basis for liability and burden of proof

William W. Longpoe, E. Ibu Otor


Health care system in Nigeria has recorded unimaginable failure due to a degenerate doctor-patient relationship among other reasons. This work looks at doctor-patient’s relationships in Nigeria as it relates to health care provision. The study identifies the duties of these persons and extends its scope to other health care providers in the health industry. The study highlights the liabilities of both the doctors and the patients in the health industry as well as showcases the kind of remedies available where in breach of their duties as a result of poor communication. The methodology used in the work is the doctrinal research method. The doctrinal method of research introduces into the search: books, legal propositions, doctrines and statutes, etc, while relying on the physical library and the internet. The study discovered that many Nigerians are not aware that health care providers could be held liable for medical negligence. The research was able to establish that the relationship between patient, doctors and other health givers is central in providing health care services globally. Thus, the research recommended the creation of awareness on this after sufficiently highlighting the remedies available when in breach of same.

Keywords: Doctor-patient relationship, liabilities, breaches, remedies

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