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Law And Health Care Administration Essay

1336 words - 6 pages

Law and Health Care System Administration

Strayer University
Fall Quarter 2013

HSA 515: Health Care Policy, Law, and Ethics


Law and Health Care System Administration
1. Justify your position about the importance of the physician-patient and hospital-patient relationships.

In the typical physician-patient relationship, the physician agrees to diagnose and treat the patient in accordance with the standards of acceptable medical practice and to continue to do so until the natural termination of the relationship (Showalter, 2012). Once the compensation for services are rendered, it is the physician’s responsibility to conduct a medical ...view middle of the document...

A physician-patient relationship can also be implied or inferred due to circumstance. For example, if a patient becomes unconscious and unable to consent to treatment during an emergency, but a physician provides care (although no payment is received), the law requires a contract exists. An implied contract requires no actual agreement. Rather, the law as a matter of reason and justice infers it by conduct of the physician. Under common law, a physician has no duty to render medical care unless he or she had agreed to do so. However, once a physician accepts a patient, he or she creates a legal relationship that is no different from signing a contract with that patient (Showalter, 2012).
Professional liability can arise if this contract is breached. Failure to perform the service with reasonable skill and care may give the patient basis for filing a claim, not only for negligence, but also for breach of contract and in some cases liability for breach of warranty (Showalter, 2012). Physicians are susceptible to liability not only if they promise to perform a particular service but especially if they promise a specific result. For example, in the Sullivan v O’Connor case, the plaintiff alleged that the surgeon guaranteed to execute plastic surgery on her nose and thus to “enhance her beauty and improve her appearance.” The surgery failed after several operations, and her nose looked worse than before.
3. Analyze the four (4) elements of proof necessary for a plaintiff to prove negligence.
According to Showalter (2012), negligence is the most common type of liability case that healthcare organizations face. It happens when a person fails to live up to accepted standards of behavior. There are four elements that are essential to proving negligence: (1) a duty of care, (2) breach of that duty, (3) injury, and (4) causation. In regards to the aforementioned case, Sullivan v. O’Connor, the plaintiff is able to prove the negligence of the defendants operation, and, as a result, there is a jury verdict of $13,500 against the surgeon for his breach of contract in respect to the operation upon the plaintiff’s nose (need to add source).
The plaintiff is able to prove that the defendant (the surgeon) owes a duty of care they establish an agreement to “enhance her beauty and improve her appearance” when payment is given to receive the specified services. The plaintiff is also able to prove breach of duty occurs when the surgeon is unable to provide the services which are agreed upon in the contract. After several operations, the defendant’s surgery fails, and he is unable to “enhance her beauty and improve her appearance.” To prove negligence regards to injury, the plaintiff is also able to prove that due to a failed surgery, the surgeon disfigures and deforms her nose, causes her pain in mind and body, and subjects her to damage and expense. Lastly, the plaintiff is also able to prove that the injury is the “proximate cause” of the...

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