Legal Aspects of Health Care

Dr. Andrews (doctor) owed the duty to Bobby with regard to treatment of his left hand (amputation). He amputated the wrong hand, thus violating his duty. which also led to Bobby’s loss. In addition to elements of negligence, the action by Dr. Andrews is res ipsa loquitur (that is, it speaks for itself). So there can be no two opinions that the doctor committed negligence while treating Bobby. and can be held liable to pay the damages.
The actions of Nurse Williams at City General Hospitals can be reviewed using EMTALA (Federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act). EMTALA was passed in 1986 to prevent hospitals from refusing to treat a patient coming to their emergency room. on grounds of not having enough money or insurance to pay for the treatment. The Act places two main obligations on hospitals (Lafferty, 2000):
2. If it can be established that the patient’s condition is in fact, an emergency. the hospital must take steps to ‘stabilize’ the condition before the patient can be asked to contact any other hospital for detailed treatment.
In the given case, a screening examination was not conducted to determine the severity of wounds. Although, Nurse Williams attended Bobby immediately and put towels on his wound, probably to stop the flow of blood. and may be this would be presented by the hospital in defense. Yet there is no evidence that any screening examination was carried out to ascertain if the condition can be classified as emergency. and any attempt to ‘stabilize’ the emergency condition other than above which can hardly be classified as an attempt to stabilize Bobby’s condition. The delay thus caused, resulted in deteriora36tion of the injury, which ultimately resulted in amputation. Bobby and his parents can sue

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