An emerging technology appearing nationwide and in Oregon raises questions of what medical liability standards are to be applied to physicians who will be using that technology. It is called 3D printing, and it involves using a uniquely designed mechanical device that has been programmed to construct a three-dimensional product by adding together various substances and materials in a specified manner. In the medical field, the 3D printer may produce surgical instruments, hearing aids, prosthetics and even organs for implant, but its misuse may be the basis for a whole new area of medical malpractice claims.
The law must now determine the framework of liability that will apply to find medical malpractice in those cases where the physician fails to provide a recognized modicum of care to the patient in the application of the product. In general, it appears that for now the basic standard of negligence will continue to apply. The matter gets somewhat complicated because some experts believe that strict liability for product liability should apply due to it being a product that is being applied on the patient-consumer.