Does Doctor Smith have any legal obligation to help the passenger?
Doctor Smith does not have any legal obligation towards the passenger. There is no consent provided by the patient and she is outside her place of work and hence the doctor is not obliged towards helping the patient. However, according to law, a woman giving birth should receive all the help and assistance that she requires so as to ensure that the process is safe for her and the baby. From this perspective, the doctor is allowed to help the passenger give birth since she could not get any other help at that moment although the doctor is not required by the law to do so.
If Doctor Smith decides to help, what is the extent of her legal obligation to provide care?
Women in labor are entitled to emergency treatment no matter their location at the time. According to law even when taken to hospitals, women in labor should be attended first before their medical insurances are checked. The doctor was allowed to care for the woman until the she was out of danger. In cases of emergency, Doctors are allowed by law to provide assistance whenever they can even though they feel that another doctor can perform better. They are allowed to give necessary assistance within the limits of their competence to ensure that the patient is stable enough or at least keep them from harm’s way.
Explain the emergency room’s obligation to provide care in this situation
Both public and private hospitals are not allowed by the law to turn away patients after they have given birth and are in need of emergency treatment. Women should not be turned away from emergency services in hospitals due to their inability to pay their hospital bills. Health care should not be suspended once it has been started and the patient should not be transferred from the hospital until they are through the care. If such a case should occur, then the doctors are to be held liable and should answer to the law. Child birth is considered an emergency situation and hence all hospitals, whether private or public are obligated to provide healthcare for such women regardless of whether they can afford payment or not.
Discuss the potential claims against doctor smith including the specific legal standards that would apply and the role that expert opinion would play in the claim
Every professional doctor is required by the law to act with a certain degree of care towards the patient and also using the necessary skill. According to medicine, doctor smith was negligent since he did not act according to the required legal standards of medicine. All pregnant women are entitled to health care. If the doctor or the person giving care does not give pain relievers then the patient is allowed to sue the doctor for inferior treatment. This is according to article 3 of the European Convention. Doctor Smith can also be sued on the basis that she did not seek the patient’s decision on whether she was comfortable with the procedure. According to the European convention, the patient should be consulted before any treatment can be given to her. Doctor Smith can also be sued by the patient for treating her in an environment that was not clean. Doctor Smith did not also have any legal obligation to the patient since they were outside the hospital and there had been no agreement or consent from the patient that she should go ahead and deliver the baby.
Discuss the potential defenses that are available to Dr. Smith
According to Doctor Smith’s evaluation, the patient could not have survived if they had waited for the nurses to come. She used her judgment and her medical experience to save both the child and the mother. Even though the birth conditions were substandard, and she did not have the necessary equipment, she did her best to save the mother and the child. Doctor Smith decided not to focus on the claims and instead focused of damages towards the patient and whether they were unavoidable. In such a case, the doctor might lose the case by will only face minimum damage charges .
Discuss the potential claims against the emergency room doctors including the specific legal standards that would apply and the role that expert testimony would play in the claim
The emergency room doctors paid so much attention to the child and forgot to care for the mother who was bleeding at that time and hence leading to the complications. The patient has the right to accuse them of neglecting her and thus leading to her problem. As emergency room doctors they are required to take care of the mother and the new born baby without preferences. Although the patient cannot sue all the emergency room doctors, she is allowed to sue the doctors who were present for negligence that led to harm. The emergency room doctors could also have made a judgment call on operating the patient instead of wasting time waiting for a reply from the MCO. The emergency room doctors are allowed by the law to treat the patient first if they think she is in danger before getting consent.
Explain the potential defenses that are available to the emergency room doctors
It is hard for the woman to sue the emergency doctors for causation. This is since she cannot prove that they are the reason for her damage. The emergency doctors may simply argue that they did not cause the damage and even if they had operated on her earlier, the outcome would still have been the same even if the doctors had not neglected their duties. Through this argument the doctors may be able to prove that the negligence from their part did not cause any damages. The emergency room doctors may also argue that the patient had also played a role in complicating her health since she had not provided sufficient information on her history with drug abuse. The emergency room doctors may also argue that the claim expert is not sufficiently qualified in the field of medicine and hence his/her opinion is not reliable. The emergency room doctors and nurses could have also argued that they were aware of the damage that the patient would suffer but it was unavoidable.
Discuss the potential claims against the hospital including the specific legal standards that would apply and the role that expert opinion would play in the claim. Be sure to include any claim that may exist due to the actions of Dr. Smith and the emergency room doctors and nurses.
The patient may also decide to sue the hospital for the mistakes that were committed by Doctor Smith who did not have her consent to go ahead in delivering the baby and also for the emergency room doctors for neglecting her, leading to her complications. She was not consulted about her operation as that would have saved time probably she would not have ended up in her current state. The woman can sue the hospital on the basis that it had duty to provide her with the best medical care. The hospital is liable for all the patients that have been admitted there and it is their duty to accommodate patients who require emergency treatment regardless of whether they are able to pay or not
Discuss the potential claims against the managed care organization including whether to not the claims will be preempted by ERISA. Be sure to include the specific legal standards from ERISA in your analysis.
The managed care organization should also be sued for not getting their report right. The patient could argue that if only the MCO had delivered the right report in time, then there was a chance that her damage or injury would not have occurred or would have been prevented. The MCO did not put the required seriousness into the matter. Their managed care plan did not work for the patient and hence the patient is justified to sue them for their underperformance . Most of these MCO’s have won arguments in courts that any liability claims against them are pre-empted by ERISA since these clams are related to the benefit plan which is covered. ERISA is a law which sets standards for health plan organizations so as to provide necessary protection for people who have enrolled in these organizations. It requires these organizations to have clear cut plans and appeals processes in case they fail to deliver .
Defending a Medical Malpractice Claim. (2015, November 13). Retrieved November 13, 2015, from AllLaw: http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/medical-malpractice/defense-1.html
Health Insurance; Managed Care;Medical Care;Liabilty (Law). (2015, November 13). Retrieved November 13, 2015, from OLR Research Report: https://www.cga.ct.gov/PS98/rpt%5Colr%5Chtm/98-R-1371.htm
health plans and benefits. (2015, november 13). Retrieved november 13, 2015, from united states department of labor: http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/health-plans/erisa.htm