You are on the Board of Ethics, representing your health care specialty, at the esteemed National Hospital and Health Care Center for Academic and Medical Excellence. The family of a former patient has submitted a complaint to the hospital as detailed below. Your task is to submit a professional memo to the Ethics Board to brief them on possible legal and ethical issues raised by the complaint. Your memo should be clear and compelling, ranging between 4 – 6 pages (double spaced). Instructions: View the complaint below. View the Notes at the end of the assignment. Identify and analyze the legal and ethical issues implicated by the patient letter below. Offer assessments of claim success likelihood as well as ethical recommendations.
***** The complaint reads as follows:
I’ve been taking my whole family to the National Hospital and Health Care Center for Academic and Medical Excellence for years now! I expect nothing but the very best care, and that’s what we have always received.That’s why I’m especially shocked at what happened last month!My mother-in-law suffered a fall leaving her weekly bridge game. We were very concerned, so we picked her up and brought her in to the E.R. for evaluation and treatment.While testing, they discovered that she was low on iron, something like that, and without discussing it with her or us, they were trying to insert a needle for a blood transfusion. Seems they couldn’t find a vein and she was crying!Plus – my mother is law is a very religious person — and her religion does NOT allow her to receive blood from another person. She was appalled when they came in and hung up the blood on the stand!Nobody asked her first! Nobody discussed it with her or us, they just got started with a blood transfusion. There was no urgency here; as a matter of fact, she was scheduled to receive alternate treatment about three days later at another facility. And the supervisor was standing right there!I can’t believe nobody asked her permission! Thank goodness she realized in time and put a stop to it just as they were inserting the needle. Boy was she mad! And so are we!She flinched and pulled away — and somehow she ended up falling off the bed!! So now there is severe bruising on top of everything else.Plus — last Thursday my daughter sent me a link to a website where two of the health care workers were messing around in a hospital room. And you can see my mother in law in the background!What is wrong with you people??!!In addition to all that, my brother says she never signed a contract, so we shouldn’t have to pay the hospital at all.****What now? You tell me. Or, rather, you tell the Board. Anything in the fact pattern that relates to anything we’ve talked about in the first half of the course is fair game. You will be graded on your ability to spot relevant ethical and legal issues. Once you’ve spotted an area worthy of discussion, be it in civil law, privacy protections, or whatever, analyze the issue though the lens of course materials and discussions.
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