With the
best intentions of the health care provider, mistakes can be made and accidents
do happen.  Any errors, actions or non-actions
should be reported and a person should be held responsible for it.  As a fact, there are many situations in which
injured party or their relatives should have received proper compensation for
their loss, pain or suffering due to the negligence of health care practitioners;
often they are not.  In this kind of
situations, we all have legal protection which is medical malpractice law;
McTeague and Lee (2015).

Section I

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“In the United States, medical malpractice suits first
appeared with regularity beginning in the 1800s” (Bal, B. S. 2008).
the 1960s, any medical malpractice cases were sporadic and did not have a major
effect on the practice of medicine.  After
the 1960s, the occurrence of medical malpractice cases went up; and now a day
claims filed by mistreated patients declaring mismanagement by a health care
providers are very common in the United States.  According to McTeague and Lee, malpractice is misconduct
by a qualified person; the failure to meet a standard of care that a prudent
and reasonable person of the same profession would practice in similar situations
that resulted in harm.  The negligence is
an act of omission or in which a person performs duties in a careless manner,
which results in someone else’s physical, mental or property damages.  In order for the negligence to be proven, the
elements of duty, dereliction of duty, direct cause and damages must be
established (2015).

Section II

            First malpractice and negligence case
I am going to discuss, is the “Robertson v. Provident House” case from Supreme
Court of Louisiana on March 11, 1991.  Mr. James Robertson, the plaintiff, has been
quadriplegic since being shot.  During
his stay in Provident House, the defendant, he did have an in-dwelling catheter
inserted despite of plaintiff’s objections to the nurse because it would cause
spasm to his bladder and further inability to urinate.  After almost two months of stay in Provident
House where numerous insertions of in-dwelling catheter were performed,
plaintiff suffered a bloody and purulent discharge from his penis and decrease
in urine output.  He was further
transferred by ambulance to V.A. hospital, where he spent eight days, for
emergency treatment.  In this case, the
nurse committed a battery on a patient when she inserted an in-dwelling
catheter without patient’s consent.  This
case of malpractice by the nurse ended in $25,000 award to the plaintiff.  However, it could be prevented if the nurse
will follow a standard of care and respect the patient autonomy letting him decide
about his care.  Every prudent and
reasonable nurse would listen to the patient, and notify the physician of
patient’s refusal of the catheter.  Most
likely this will lead to a different course of treatment and prevent further
damages that were suffered by the plaintiff.  It is important to perform care with the
respect to the patient, other vise the nurse can suffer termination of the
employment or license suspension.

            The second case is the “Joseph Dugan
et al. v. Mobile Medical Testing Services, Inc.” from Supreme Court of New York
on March 2003.  In this example, Mobile
Medical, the defendant, provided physical examination to Joseph Dugan, the
plaintiff, to determine if he is fit for duty of firefighter.  The examination involved few tests, including
electrocardiogram (ECG).  Following the
test, the plaintiff asked a physician if the results of the test are ok?  He was told that only one irregular heartbeat
was found but the rest looks fine.  Mr.
Dugan did not seek further medical treatment and later he suffered a myocardial
infarction (MI) at home.  In this case,
there is a question whether a health care provider hired by plaintiff’s company
to perform a physical checkup owes a responsibility of care to that employee and
if the defendants were negligent in an inadequate notice of the results of an
abnormal ECG.  The court decision was to
grant the defendant since there was no previous patient-provider relationship.
In my opinion, this is a malpractice case that should be resolved in favor of the
plaintiff.  The physician cares for the
patient to do good and should instruct the plaintiff to seek further medical
treatment with a primary care provider.  This
would result in either medication administration or cardiac catheterization
procedure and possibly prevent the MI.  I
believe that any health care provider has an ethical responsibility to do well
for a patient even if treated only for few minutes.

The third case is “Mercer v. Vanderbilt University, Inc.”
from The Tennessee Supreme Court in May 2004. Mr. Qualls, the plaintiff, had a
car accident because he was driving under intoxication. He was admitted to
Vanderbilt Hospital, to neuro intensive care unit (ICU) because he suffered
multiple head trauma. He was under a respirator and needed head computed
tomography (CT) for persistent agitation and seizure activity.  While in CT, he was given a paralytic drug, in
preparation for a test, which left him completely paralyzed and depended on the
ventilator. Registered nurse (RN) never informed a respiratory therapist (RT)
about drug administration.  Additionally,
the RT failed to check for any ventilator alarms. Consequently, after the test,
they realized the plaintiff’s face was grey and he was not breathing. Despite
successful resuscitation, Mr. Qualls suffered a permanent anoxic brain injury.  The Tennessee Supreme Court found in favor of
Mercer, plaintiff’s sister, and awarded damages of $7.3M.  I believe the decision is right because this
is a negligence and medical malpractice. 
If the RN and RT followed standards of care, work as a team member to
inform the rest of the crew about their actions, and also to check for all the
alarms, then the patient will not suffer health damages as he did. It is very
important to always comply and follow with facility regulations and every time
acts like a reasonable person in order to protect yourself from malpractice case.

In all those three cases, there are human feelings and lives
on the line.  We, as the health care
providers, have the responsibility to care for our patient with respect and not
to harm.  This is the oath we pledged.  No matter how busy we might be, either we see
the patent for the first time or many times, maybe we are tied or have personal
problems, we always have to follow standards of care.  We always have to be reasonable, passionate
and prudent in what we do.  When we take
care for a patient we have to be mindful of what we are doing because we have
human life in our hands, and it only takes that one mistake that will create
the cascade of a perfect storm.

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