Standardization of cancer treatment and legal medical standards

Toshiharu Furukawa, Masaki Kitajima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Legal medical standards are usually applied in two ways in Japanese medical malpractice cases. One application is a judgment on the quality of medical treatment, and the other is an evaluation of the validity of informed consent. Legal medical standards are not equivalent in all medical institutions. If physicians in a medical institution are expected to be aware of the most recent medical knowledge, that becomes the medical standard of the institution. For physicians in major metropolitan medical institutions, such knowledge constitutes the medical standard even before it is published in the guidelines of a committee of an established national medicoprofessional society. The standardization of cancer treatment may be used as evidence in medical malpractice suits brought by cancer patients based on both the quality of treatment and valid informed consent. In addition, it is possible that the validity of informed consent may be given more weight by the courts than the following of a course of standardized treatment by individual physicians/medical institutions in cases where patients have done extensive research on and exhibit informed knowledge of new treatment modalities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-385
Number of pages6
JournalNippon Geka Gakkai zasshi
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2003 May

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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