Essay on Health Law and Discharge Instructions

1899 Words Apr 5th, 2016 8 Pages
I. Is a hospital liable for patients who fail to be compliant with discharge instructions?
II. No. A hospital cannot be held liable for patients who fail to be compliant with their discharge instructions.
III. Facts
1. In order to prove negligence or medical malpractice, the plaintiff must prove the: A. The requisite standard of care. B. A deviation from the standard of care C. A causal connection between the deviation and the claimed injury.
2. The hospitals rules, regulations, and policies do not establish a standard of care. However, a hospital’s failure to follow its own rules, regulations, and policies is evidence of negligence.
3. Discharge instructions can be construed to be part of a hospital’s rules,
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In the case of Anthony Boone v. The William W. Backus Hospital, a summary judgment was granted to the defendant because the plaintiff failed to prove that the hospital failed to follow its own protocols and procedures for readmitting a patient. The patient was a four year old child who was having an idiosyncratic reaction to medication. Although the discharge instructions stated to return to the emergency for any new problems, the hospital would not re-admit the patient until the patient returned in a comatose state.
In the case of Sarah Davis v. Township of Paulsboro, the patient Ernest Davis was discharged from the emergency room following an altercation outside a nightclub. The discharge instructions had head injury instructions listed, but were not checked by the physician. The ER physician discharged the patient as “fit for incarceration”. The patient later experienced problems in the jail and returned comatose. The patient later died. The suit alleged that the defendants violated EMTALA standards. The court sided with the defendants with a summary judgment citing the plaintiffs failure to prove EMTALA violations.
V. Conclusion that the Court reached.
In the Thierry case, the court reached its decision based upon the failure of the plaintiff to provide an expert witness to establish applicable standard of care and if there was a breach of

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