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Medical Malpractice - Case Study Example

3 pages
673 words
Harvey Mudd College
Type of paper: 
Case study
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Medical malpractice entails professional negligence by act or omission by a healthcare practitioner. The neglect may occur in the concept through which the kind of care or treatment provided falls below the required level of practice in the medical setting and renders death or injury to the engaged patients (Dey, 2017). In the context of this paper, it gives three scenarios concerning the death of a 46-year old involved in an automobile accident and analyses on the claims of negligence by the doctor.

In the scenario where the death was as a result of failure to administer blood, it provides a basis for the medical malpractice lawsuit. In the details of this case, the plaintiff can claim that there was a direct delay of necessary treatment. Within the context of a proper malpractice case, the existence of different elements is essential. First, the plaintiff should prove that the doctors negligence caused the death. Next, the plaintiff must prove that the patient did not contribute to the personal injury in any way. Thirdly, the complainant needs to show that the patient was in a condition of distress mentally, and finally ensure the availability of proof concerning concealment of evidence (Becker, 2016).

According to the case, the patient required blood to prevent further injury; however, the patient refused the treatment. It rendered a conflict which according to the Ethics frameworks covering the patients, allows a patient to choose whether to accept or reject treatment. Regardless, the occurrence did not signify that the patient intended to die or dismissed an alternative methodology of a framework. The doctor would have offered an alternative treatment which is within the healthcare setting recommendation like providing blood volume expanders that would have helped save the patient. Instead, the deceased was left in the emergency department for several hours under observation.

With consideration of the negligence law, the doctor did not take the recommended and necessary decisions to save the patient. The facility is entitled to conducting a consultation on the capacity of the patient to make the decision. Also, the physician was required to inform the 42-year old man of the importance of the transfusion and the consequences of refusal. The doctor was responsible for offering an alternative treatment to the patient but failed to do so, which in one way or the other, resulted in the death. The patient died due to the physicians negligence and ignorance. The practitioner was aware of the consequences and the risks if the patient did not acquire attendance, but he did not deliver the blood transfusion. Thus, the plaintiff can sue the doctor for injury since all the elements covering negligence lawsuits were met.

Nonetheless, the doctor could provide defenses to counter the claims. The doctor could claim the patient contributed to the injury as negligence on his part. By claiming the patient added to the personal injury, he can apply the defense by stating that the patient did not disclose vital details. For instance, on the night of the accident he had injected heroin, drank multiple cans of beer and shots of tequila but he did not disclose the information. If the doctor provided evidence for the claims, then the case could be dismissed (Schulman & Smith, 2017).

In conclusion, death as a result of subdural hematoma would be the most successful malpractice claim against the doctor. The patient did not receive sufficient care through appropriate tests. The practitioner could have conducted necessary blood tests and scans to ensure that the patient was stable, but they only administered morphine and later placed him under observation. The plaintiff can claim the doctor did not adhere to the standard care and as a result, rendered the injury and the death of the patient.



Becker, S. (2016). The Law of Medical Malpractice. Health Care Law: A Practical Guide, Second Edition, 1.

Dey, B. K. (2017). Medical Negligence: An Overview. Bengal Journal of Head Neck Surgery and Otolaryngology, 25(1), 46-54.

Shandell, R. E., Schulman, F. A., & Smith, P. (2017). The trial and preparation of medical malpractice cases. Law Journal Press.


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