Second opinion

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This article is about the medical term. For other uses, see Second opinion (disambiguation).

A second opinion is an opinion on a matter disputed by two or more parties.


In legal cases, a second opinion which contradicts the opinion of a jointly retained expert may be disregarded as not being impartial.[1]

Consumer rights[edit]

In cases such as car repairs, a second opinion should be obtained in writing, and the original garage given an opportunity to rectify matters.[2] In the case of clients' disputes with domestic building contractors, the builder may seek a second opinion to confirm their view.[3]


A second opinion can be visit to a physician other than the one a patient has previously been seeing in order to get more information or to hear a differing point of view.[4][5] Some reasons for which a patient may seek out a second opinion include:

  • Physician recommends surgery.
  • Physician diagnoses patient with serious illness (such as cancer).[6]
  • Physician recommends a treatment for the patient other than what the patient believes is necessary.
  • When physician recommends elective surgery, it may be required by the insurance plan. In other cases, insurance will not pay for a second opinion. [7]
  • Patient believes he/she has a condition that the physician diagnosed incorrectly or failed to diagnose.[6]
  • The physician himself/herself recommends a second opinion.[6]

Workplace disputes[edit]

Second opinions may also be obtained by employers.[8]

Professional mediation[edit]

Professional mediators may be asked for second opinions regarding whether to proceed to trial or seek a settlement instead.[9]


  1. ^ Nancy F. Atlas; Stephen K. Huber; E. Wendy Trachte-Huber (2000). Alternative Dispute Resolution: The Litigator's Handbook. American Bar Association. p. 262. ISBN 978-1-57073-812-8. 
  2. ^ "Problems with the quality of garage repairs or service". Citizens Advice Bureau. CAB website. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  3. ^ "Customer disputes". QBCC website. Queensland Building and Construction Commission. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  4. ^ Kyle Beardsley (18 August 2011). The Mediation Dilemma. Cornell University Press. p. 37. ISBN 0-8014-5003-9. 
  5. ^ British Medical Association (31 January 2012). Medical Ethics Today: The BMA's Handbook of Ethics and Law. John Wiley & Sons. p. 253. ISBN 978-1-4443-5564-2. 
  6. ^ a b c
  7. ^
  8. ^ Lisa Granger (2010). Best Practices in Occupational Health, Safety, Workers Compensation and Claims Management for Employers: Assisting Employers in Navigating "The Road to Zero". Universal-Publishers. p. 159. ISBN 978-1-59942-812-3. 
  9. ^ Victoria Pynchon (10 April 2012). Success as a Mediator For Dummies. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 89–90. ISBN 978-1-118-07862-4.