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Watchful attention; custody; diligence; concern; caution; as opposed to Negligence or carelessness.

In the law of negligence, the standard of reasonable conduct determines the amount of care to be exercised in a situation. The care taken must be proportional to the apparent risk. As danger increases, commensurate caution must be observed.

Slight care is the care persons of ordinary prudence generally exercise in regard to their personal affairs of minimal importance.

Reasonable care, also known as ordinary care, is the degree of care, diligence, or precaution that may fairly, ordinarily, and properly be expected or required in consideration of the nature of the action, the subject matter, and the surrounding circumstances.

Great care is the degree of care that persons of ordinary prudence usually exercise with respect to their personal affairs of great importance.

Another type of care is that which a fiduciary—a person having a duty, created by his or her undertaking, to act primarily for another's benefit—exercises in regard to valuable possessions entrusted to him or her by another.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


n. in law, to be attentive, prudent and vigilant. Essentially, care (and careful) means that a person does everything he/she is supposed to do (to prevent an accident). It is the opposite of negligence (and negligent), which makes the responsible person liable for damages to persons injured. If a person "exercises care," a court cannot find him/her responsible for damages from an accident in which he/she is involved. (See: careless)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Preoperative care. Prior to MIGS it is important to examine a patient's panniculus closely for evidence of infection.
Among these are preoperative care and evaluation, the pharmacology of local anesthetics, transfusion medicine, anesthesia for endocrine diseases, ambulatory and remote location anesthesia, management aspects of anesthesia practice, and the intensive care unit.
Topics included are patient selection, preoperative care, postoperative care, DBS programming, collaborative practice concepts, and nursing care.
It highly illustrates but dedicates as few words as possible to such issues as preoperative care, including diagnostic testing, assessment, health history, physical exam, anesthesia evaluation, fundamentals of anesthesia, including the four levels of sedation and regional anesthetics, perioperative care, including the surgical suite environment and setting up, common procedures such as abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, hysterectomy, and vascular surgery, perianesthesia care, including immediate postoperative assessment and complications, and postoperative care, including patient discharge needs.
Preoperative costs were exluded from the estimated because of variability in patient status prior to surgery (some patients had their preoperative workup as outpatients or during a previous hospital stay and home prior to surgery); variability in preoperative cost-finding methodology (some patients received part of their preoperative care at other local hospital); and the mix of inpatient and outpatient services provided preoperatively, which would have necessitated an arbitrary definition concerning the actual onset of illness.