Health Care law|Course hero helper

Posted: February 18th, 2023

Respond to the following questions in -depth using paragraph form. Paragraphs must be at least 5-7 sentences.

1.     A negligence action was brought by a mother on behalf of her minor daughter against a hospital. It alleged that when the mother was 13 years of age, the hospital negligently transfused her with Rh-positive blood. The mother’s Rh-negative blood was incompatible with and sensitized by the Rh-positive blood. The mother discovered her condition eight years later during a routine blood screening ordered by her physician in the course of prenatal care. The resulting sensitization of the mother’s blood allegedly caused damage to the fetus, resulting in physical defects and premature birth. Did a patient relationship with the transfusing hospital exist?

2. The plaintiff’s physician received a release of information from the plaintiff to an insurance company following the plaintiff’s application for major medical insurance. The physician released the following information: Enclosed is a summary of Mr. Millsaps’s recent hospitalization. Physically the man has no notable problems; emotionally, the patient is quite mercurial in his moods. He is a strong-willed man obsessed with faults of others in his family, for which there has been no objective basis. He has completely resisted any constructive advice by his wife, family, minister, or myself. The man needs psychiatric help for his severe obsessions and depressions, some of which have suicidal overtones. He is an extremely poor insurance risk. The application for major medical insurance was rejected. Did the physician have a right to release this information to the insurance company?

3.        The defendant was executive director of Planned Parenthood. A second defendant was the physician who served as medical director for Planned Parenthood. Both gave information, instruction, and medical advice to married persons about how to prevent conception. The defendants were arrested and found guilty of violating a statute that forbade the use of contraceptives. They then appealed, contending that the statute as applied violated the Fourteenth Amendment. Does a law forbidding the use of contraceptives invade the zone of privacy in violation of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?

4.        The New York Legislature passed the New York State Controlled Substances Act of 1971 because of concern about the illegal use of drugs in the state. The act requires that records involving the use of certain prescription drugs be filed by physicians with the New York State Department of Health. These records are kept on computers and include the name and address of patients using the drugs. The concern of the physicians and patients who were plaintiffs was that patients in need of treatment with these drugs would decline treatment for fear of being labeled drug addicts. Was the collection of these records by the state a violation of the patients’ Fourteenth Amendment rights?

SOLUTION

  1. In the case described, a negligence action was brought by a mother on behalf of her minor daughter against a hospital. The crux of the matter is whether a patient relationship with the transfusing hospital existed or not. To establish a patient-hospital relationship, it must be shown that the hospital owed the mother a duty of care. In this case, the hospital did owe the mother a duty of care when it transfused Rh-positive blood into her body without her consent. When the mother went to the hospital, she was seeking medical treatment, and the hospital provided that treatment. The transfusion of incompatible blood was part of that treatment. The hospital had a duty to exercise reasonable care in providing medical treatment to the mother. The fact that the mother did not consent to the transfusion is irrelevant to the issue of whether a patient-hospital relationship existed. Thus, the hospital was in breach of its duty of care to the mother by negligently transfusing her with Rh-positive blood. As a result, the hospital can be held liable for the damages that resulted from this breach of duty.
  2. In the second case, the physician released information about the plaintiff to an insurance company. The information released was a summary of the plaintiff’s recent hospitalization, and it included details about the plaintiff’s mental health. The plaintiff claims that this breached the physician-patient confidentiality relationship. However, the physician was acting within the scope of his authority when he released the information. When the plaintiff applied for major medical insurance, he signed a release of information that allowed his physician to disclose information about his medical condition to the insurance company. The information released by the physician was relevant to the insurance company’s decision to provide coverage to the plaintiff. The physician did not breach the confidentiality relationship with the plaintiff, as he acted within the bounds of the release of information that the plaintiff signed. Thus, the physician cannot be held liable for breaching the confidentiality relationship with the plaintiff.

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