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Medical Malpractice in the Death of Mrs. Hoover - Case Study Example

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In the case of Trudy Hoover, an incident of medical malpractice has occurred that may have contributed to circumstances that brought her to her untimely death. To sum up the situation, Mary Smith, a Medical Assistant for Dr. Jones, ordered pain medications for Hoover as a Medical Assistant for Dr…
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Medical Malpractice in the Death of Mrs. Hoover
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Download file to see previous pages In order for it to be considered a criminal case, the defendant's actions must be considered to be so grossly negligent that it was with willful and malicious intent that they committed the act that lead them to trial. Specifically, ""That degree of negligence or carelessness which is denominated as gross, and which constitutes such a departure from what would be the conduct of an ordinarily careful and prudent manas to furnish evidence of that indifference to consequences which in some offenses takes the place of criminal intent."24 or "Negligence, to be criminal, must be reckless and wanton (Monico 1)".
The type of tort that is appropriate for this case is malpractice. This is clearly a case of malpractice because the defendant acted outside her Scope of Practice. According to the Federation of State Medical Boards, "Scope of practice define s those health care services a physician or other health care practitioner is authorized to perform by virtue of professional license, registration, or certification. Health care professionals' scopes of practice sometimes overlap reflecting shared competencies (Federation of State Medical Boards, 2005)". As a Medical Assistant, Smith acted outside her scope of practice as a Medical Assistant as defined by her State's laws and medical direction. A Medical Assistant may only order, obtain and provide medications with a Doctor's Written Orders (Buppert 1).
In order to have avoided this situation completely, Smith could have chosen to remain within her scope of practice as a Medical Assistant. Smith could have advised Hoover to seek the care of another medical professional, or, if necessary, call for an ambulance or report to a hospital emergency room. Due to the fact that Hoover was in so much pain, Smith could have contacted an ambulance or a hospital for Hoover so that she could receive immediate medical care.
The Doctrine of Respondeat Superior dictates that Dr. Jones can be held liable in this situation. Specifically, Respondeat Superior can be used when "it is determined that the medical provider exercised control over the negligent provider's means and methods of work (Regan 1)". As Smith's superior, Dr. Jones worked closely with Smith close enough to the point where she knew the exact medication that his patients receive. Dr. Jones is explicitly responsible for the actions of his employees and the occurrences within his office, and probably has multiple forms of insurance for situations like this. However, Respondeat Superior can prevail in this case because Smith ordered the prescription as if Dr. Jones had ordered it, leading the patient to believe that she was truly being prescribed this medication by her doctor.
The Good Samaritan Law may not apply in this case. In general, the Good Samaritan Law's intent is to release the legal liability of an average person, including licensed medical professionals, who provide emergency care to a person experiencing a sudden medical emergency. The only exceptions to this case are actions that are considered to be criminal or grossly negligent. The Good Samaritan Law also does not change the scope of practice for those people who are performing as, or have identified themselves as, a medical professional while rendering emergency medical care. To cite the State of Georgia's Good Samaritan Law, "Nothing in this Code section shall be ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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