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West's Encyclopedia of Law defines medical malpractice (a legal term that an be applied to doctors, nurses, pharmacists, therapists and others in the medical profession) as having four criteria: 1) The nurse had a duty to provide care to that particular patient or ward of patients 2) The care was not up to the common medical standards in the given situation 3) The patient suffered a compensable injury 4) A cause-effect relationship can be proven to tie the injury to the negligent conduct of the nurse The fourth criteria seems to be the most difficult to prove, as the burden is on the plaintiff in any given case to prove it was actually negligence on the part of the nurse that caused the injury.
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