Standard of Care



Standard of care refers to those practices, procedures and quality of treatments that a patient should be accorded and a health care provider is obligated to make available. The phrase standard of care also refers to the evaluation of a provider’s actions compared to what should have been done in a given situation. As medicine evolves, our knowledge increases and we modify our recommendations and treatment offerings to incorporate and improve our care of patients. As a result, the standard of care is not fixed, but instead, can change rapidly. Health care providers are obligated to stay current and continue to educate themselves on these changing standards. This obligation is often expressed in terms of continued education requirements, certifications, and practice guidelines.


Health Care Provider Inappropriate Medication Expert Witness Mental Health Practitioner Clinical Equipoise 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Suggested Reading

  1. Freedman, B. (1987). Equipoise and the ethics of clinical research. New England Journal of Medicine, 317(3), 141–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Suggested Resources

  1. Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences c/o World Health Organization (CIOMS). Last accessed April 25, 2012 at
  2. Hill, G., & Hill, K. (2012). Standard of care. The people’s law dictionary. Retrieved April 27, 2012 from
  3. United States Department of Health and Human Services. Last accessed April 25, 2012 from
  4. World Health Organization. (2011). HIV/AIDS fact sheet. Retrieved April 27, 2012 from

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BioethicsCase Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA

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