The ancient Romans also had a legal foundation for medical malpractice law. Their first written laws, on the XII Tables, included the concepts of delicts, iniuria, and damnum iniuria datum. Delicts were types of wrongful conduct that involved penalties. Inuria and damnum iniuria datum were two types of delict. Inuria referred to personal injuries, and damnum iniuria datum referred to injury of property, which could include slaves. Inuria only included injuries that were intentionally caused. A person could be compensated for pain of mind or body as well as monetary expenses resulting from the injury. Damnum iniuria datum also included harm caused by negligent actions, but only mandated compensation for economic losses caused by harm to property. For example, if someone’s slave required medical attention as the result of another person’s negligent actions, they could demand payment through damnum iniuria datum. Eventually, this law was expanded to apply to free men in addition to slaves (O’Connel and Carpenter 1983).
The Seattle medical malpractice lawyers at The Tinker Law Firm, PLLC can help if you have reason to believe that you or a loved one was harmed by a negligent breakdown in the communication of medical test results. Our attorneys have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of those injured by negligent medical care. For a free review of your case, complete our online contact form.
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The Indiana Medical Malpractice Act spells out the procedures to follow if you suspect that you have a hospital malpractice claim or any type of medical malpractice lawsuit. The first step is to obtain your medical records and have medical experts review them and determine whether the hospital or hospital staff involved in your treatment provided substandard care that caused your injury.
The report by the Indiana Department of Health identified 21 surgeries on the wrong body parts and 4 wrong surgical procedures performed on patients in 2014. The problem is common enough that the federal Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations published a protocol for healthcare providers to follow that includes a “timeout process” to prevent wrong operations and wrong-site surgery. Unfortunately, a fifth of our hospitals have not adopted the protocol.
Incidentally, even when I was one week out of school if a patient asked when I graduated I told them the truth. Early on I did see an occasional look of fear at learning I was a newbie, but none of them asked for someone else. However, if they had asked for someone else that would have been their right and I would have respected their wishes. It's their money, their body, and their decision.
SOURCES: Michael Grodin, MD, professor and director of medical ethics, Boston University School of Public Health. John C. Nelson, MD, MPH, president, American Medical Association; obstetrician-gynecologist, Salt Lake City. New York State Department of Health. Composite State Board of Medical Examiners. National Cancer Institute. American Medical Association. Administrators in Medicine, National Organization for State Medical & Osteopathic Board Executive Directors. American Board of Medical Specialties. Public Citizen.
In Federal tax refund cases filed by taxpayers (as opposed to third parties) against the United States, various courts have indicated that Federal sovereign immunity is waived under subsection (a)(1) of 28 U.S.C. § 1346 in conjunction with Internal Revenue Code section 7422 (26 U.S.C. § 7422), or under section 7422 in conjunction with subsection (a) of Internal Revenue Code section 6532 (26 U.S.C. § 6532). Further, in United States v. Williams, the U.S. Supreme Court held that in case where an individual paid a federal tax under protest to remove a federal tax lien on her property where the tax she paid had been assessed against a third party, the waiver of sovereign immunity found in 28 U.S.C. § 1346(a)(1) authorized her tax refund suit.
One exception to the general rule of informed consent is that of therapeutic privilege. While uncommon, doctor’s cannot be held responsible for untruths about a patient’s health when a worse threat could exist with complete disclosure. Such an example would be when the revelation of a debilitating condition might prompt suicidal actions on the part of the patient.