Your answers to these discussion questions should be thoughtful. Answers should be in the range of 150-250 words. Your instructor will look for quality of answers, and to a certain extent, length. Short responses will not earn full points. Please write well-written, professional looking postings. Points will be deducted for grammar, typos, punctuation and formatting. For all discussion questions, you must cite to your text or some other reliable source when answering the question. What concepts are you applying? Where are you getting the information? For example: “According to the text on page 14, equal protection rights …..” You may state your opinion, but you must back it up with supporting information. You will not receive full credit unless you do this for each question!
Scenario (based on a real Illinois case): A patient presented to a local emergency room and was examined by a plastic surgeon. A review of an X-ray taken of the patient’s knee revealed a possible malignant neoplasm. Consequently, the plastic surgeon referred the patient to an orthopedist for further review, but did not advise the patient as to the purpose or nature of the referral. After the patient did not keep any of the three appointments he scheduled with the orthopedist, the orthopedist refused to reschedule him any further. Ultimately, the patient died of cancer due to this condition and his estate sued both physicians for negligence.
- Was a doctor-patient relationship created between the patient and the orthopedist?
- Remember that, to state a negligence claim, we must have all four elements of the tort of negligence: 1. Duty, 2. Breach of duty, 3. Causation, AND 4. Damages. In this case, was there a sufficient doctor-patient relationship to create a duty of care on the part of the orthopedist?
- What else could the orthopedist have done to protect himself from any legal liability to a patient he had never actually seen or treated?