Words of Wisdom for Avoiding Legal Landmines During COVID-19

Our experts offer words of wisdom for avoiding legal landmines during COVID-19.

In May, we convened a panel of legal experts and respected physicians to discuss the legal landscape facing the private practice during COVID-19, including strategies for minimizing liability risk. Overwhelmingly, the panel agreed on several key points for avoiding legal landmines, including, but not limited to:

  • Putting safety first for your team, staff, patients, facility and yourself
  • Educating and protecting employees
  • Implementing appropriate protocols
  • Performing mandated tests or tests per practice protocols
  • Providing staff with appropriate PPE

Importantly, our experts agreed that at the end of the day, following reason and caution and doing the right thing are key. Here are their words of wisdom to help you stay the course.

E. Gaylon McCollough, M.D., FACS, Gulf Shores, Ala.

“We just have to exercise reason and logic and good judgment. I don't know that we can develop a piece of paper that's going to outline every single thing that we need to do. But based upon my knowledge of the legal system — that the standard of care is based upon what a reasonable surgeon would do under the same circumstances — I think as long as we are doing reasonable things and exercising the abundance of caution and all of the little things we've talked about here, then I feel very comfortable about that.”

Randolph Waldman, M.D., Lexington, Ky., Editorial Advisor, Aesthetic Authority, Founder and Director of the multi-specialty Global Aesthetics Conference, Miami Beach, Fla.

“Don’t do anything for money. Don’t let money be the thing that dictates what you do because when you do that’s when you may step over that line. And remember at the end of this whole thing the people that will still be standing tall are the people who just did the right thing and the safe thing for their patients. I still believe in that principle.”

Alex Thiersch, J.D., Partner, Salveo Capital, CEO, AmSpa.

“The most important thing… is form and substance. Have these protocols but make sure they're followed: [You can feel comfortable] if you do what the CDC is recommending — what your state is recommending — if you implement those policies and procedures, if you're washing your hands and you're following that to the best of your abilities."