Assignment: Constituted Medical Malpractice

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Assignment: Constituted Medical Malpractice

Assignment: Constituted Medical Malpractice

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Assignment #2: “Catherine Hemming Case”

This is the case at the end of chapter 4, pgs. 97-98. As you read this case, think out about the topics covered in this week’s reading especially pgs. 82-83.

from the text:


1. The state’s Supreme Court did not rule uniformly on the four allegations contained in the lawsuit. One of them did not constitute either malpractice or negligence. Provide explanations and identify which allegation(s) constituted ordinary negligence, which ones constituted medical malpractice, and which one was neither.

2. Can any of these be held personally liable? (a) the two nursing assistants, (b) the nurse supervisor, (c) the administrator. Provide explanations.

The idea that everyone who chooses learned profession commits to exercising reasonable degree of care and skill can be traced back to ancient Roman and English legislation. 
The Code of Hammurabi said in 2030 BC, “If the doctor has treated gentleman with bronze lancet and has caused the gentleman to die, or has opened an abscess of the eye for gentleman with bronze lancet and has caused the gentleman’s eye to be lost, one shall chop off his hands [18].”


Medical malpractice was recognized wrong under Roman law. 
Roman law was enlarged and brought to continental Europe around 1200 AD. 
The English common law emerged after the Norman conquest of 1066, and records were kept in the Court of Common Law and the Plea Rolls during the reign of Richard Coeur de Lion at the end of the 12th century. 
These records provide continuous line of medical malpractice rulings from the 1800s to the present. 
servant and his master could sue for damages against doctor who treated the servant and made him sicker by using “unwholesome medicine [4],” according to one early medical negligence case from England. 
During Charles V’s reign, legislation was issued requiring medical men’s opinions to be sought formally in every case of violent death; this was the forerunner to obtaining expert testimony from member of the profession in medical negligence claims to establish the standard of treatment.


Beginning in the 1800s in the United States, medical malpractice actions began to occur on regular basis [3]. 
Prior to the 1960s, however, legal claims for medical negligence were uncommon and had little impact on medical practice [21]. 
Medical malpractice claims have increased in regularity since the 1960s, and today, lawsuits filed by unhappy patients alleging physician negligence are rather prevalent in the United States. 
According to poll of specialized arthroplasty surgeons, more than 70% of respondents have been sued for medical misconduct at least once during their careers [23].


Because medical malpractice litigation is so common, surgeons are bound to come across it at some point throughout their careers. 
Once lawsuit is launched, the defendant physician is thrust into uncharted legal area, where the parties’ aims, professional conduct, and processes differ from those used in medical practice. 
The purpose of this article is to give orthopaedic surgeons an overview of core medical malpractice law ideas, such as the vocabulary, court structure, and tribunals that govern medical malpractice lawsuits in the United States.


Medical Malpractice Law in the United States is good place to start.


In contrast to many other countries, medical malpractice law in the United States has generally been governed by individual states rather than the federal government. 
patient must show that inferior medical care caused the harm in order to receive monetary compensation for an injury caused by medical negligence. 
Medical malpractice claims must be submitted in timely manner.
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