The best and most complete defense to a charge of malpractice is the allegation and proof of the absence of negligence. It is also the most often used defense. Of the less popular defenses, contributory negligence on the part of the patient is probably the least attractive and the most difficult to maintain, even though it has been held to be a complete bar to recovery in several cases difficult to categorize.
Contributory Negligence in Medical Malpractice,
21 Clev. St. L. Rev.
available at http://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/clevstlrev/vol21/iss1/8