An essay "Medical Malpractice: When Can Patients Sue a Hospital for Negligence?" outlines that in most cases, nurses, medical technicians, and paramedics are hospital employees but the same does not necessarily apply to doctors who at times use hospital premises to offer their services…
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A paramedic who is employed by a certain hospital gives a patient the wrong injection. In such a case, the hospital will be held liable. What is gross negligence? It occurs when one acts in a manner likely to cause injury to another without regard for the potential victim. There are three elements required to prove gross negligence; the plaintiff needs to prove that the defendant owes him/her a duty of care. Secondly, the plaintiff needs to show that the duty of care owed as breached. Lastly, the claimant must prove that the loss suffered was caused by the defendant. This is the element of causation which is the question under discussion and therefore we shall delve deeper into it. How do you determine causation? You simply carry out the but for test- ask but for the defendant's actions, would the claimant have suffered the loss? If the answer is in the affirmative, then the defendant is not liable. If no, then the defendant is liable. The hospital’s liability will be solely dependant on its employee’s liability simply based on the principle of vicarious liability. Therefore, if any of the three employees namely the physician, nurse or ER tech are found liable, then by default the hospital will also be liable. The ER Tech carried out his duties diligently when he went to the patient’s room to check up on him and even though the nurse casually told him that the patient was probably drunk, he went ahead and made sure that the stretcher was up and then went to help the other nurses. No acts of negligence can be claimed to have been committed. The nurse was negligent because upon realizing that the patient has become restless, anxious and uncooperative, he made an assumption that the patient was drunk and even discouraged the ER tech from giving him too much of his time.
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