College Health Law

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Following an automobile accident, a 16-year old boy who had recently escaped from a detention center was brought to the hospital emergency department by ambulance. The patient seemed to be alert and claimed to be suffering withdrawal symptoms from a drug habit. The patient claimed that he participated in a methadone treatment program. The physician administered 40 milligrams of methadone. The patient needed blood but refused it. After being observed in the emergency department for several hours, the patient was placed on a medical/surgical unit for observation. The following morning it was not possible to awaken him, and he was pronounced dead. It was discovered that he had never been addicted to or in a methadone treatment program. Rather, the previous night he had been drinking beer and taking Librium. He had not told the hospital authorities. His estate considered legal options.

Consider the possible outcomes if death was the result of:
1)Overdose,
2)Or failure to administer blood.

Also, consider the possible outcomes if the patient was not a minor.

And be able to answer these questions:

1)What are the facts of the case?

2)Are all the elements required in a negligence suit present?

3)What standard of care is required?

4)What court would you file complaint?

5)Who would you consider to be potential plaintiff and defendant?

6)How would you argue for the plaintiff?

7)What evidence would you present?

8)How would you defend the defendant?

9)What are your defense questions?

10)If you were the jury, what would your finding be, based on only the facts as presented?

11)If you find the defendant responsible, what damages would you award, and for what reasons?

12)What are your options if you, as plaintiff or defendant, are unhappy with the jury’s decision?

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