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November 20 2015


Patient Abandonment - Home Medical

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Elements of the Cause of Action for Abandonment

All the following five elements has to be present for a patient to possess a proper civil reason for action for the tort of abandonment:

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1. Medical care treatment was unreasonably discontinued.

2. The termination of medical care was contrary to the patient's will or minus the patient's knowledge.

3. The medical care provider didn't arrange for care by another appropriate skilled doctor.

4. The health care provider really should have reasonably foreseen that harm to the patient would arise in the termination of the care (proximate cause).

5. The person actually suffered harm or loss as a result of the discontinuance of care.

Physicians, nurses, along with other health care professionals have an ethical, and a legal, duty to stop abandonment of patients. Medical care professional features a duty to give his or her patient all necessary attention provided that the case required it and should not leave the patient in a critical stage without giving reasonable notice or making suitable arrangements to the attendance of another.

Abandonment by the Physician

When a physician undertakes treating a patient, treatment must continue before patient's circumstances no longer warrant the treatment, health related conditions and the patient mutually consent to end the treatment by that physician, or the patient discharges the physician. Moreover, the physician may unilaterally terminate the partnership and withdraw from treating that patient provided that he or she provides the patient proper notice of their intent to withdraw and an opportunity to obtain proper substitute care.

In your house health setting, the physician-patient relationship will not terminate merely want . patient's care shifts in the location from the hospital for the home. If the patient will continue to need medical services, supervised healthcare, therapy, or other home health services, the attending physician should be sure that he or she was properly discharged his or her-duties for the patient. Virtually every situation 'in which home care is approved by Medicare, Medicaid, or perhaps an insurer will be one out of which the patient's 'needs for care have continued. The physician-patient relationship that existed from the hospital will continue unless many experts have formally terminated by notice to the patient and a reasonable try to refer the patient to a new appropriate physician. Otherwise, health related conditions will retain his or her duty toward the patient when the patient is discharged in the hospital to the home. Failure to adhere to through on the part of the doctor will constitute the tort of abandonment if the patient is injured therefore. This abandonment may expose health related conditions, the hospital, and the home health agency to liability for that tort of abandonment.

The attending physician within the hospital should make certain that a proper referral was designed to a physician who will be in charge of the home health patient's care while it's being delivered from the home health provider, unless the doctor intends to continue to supervise that homecare personally. Even more important, when the hospital-based physician arranges to offer the patient's care assumed by another physician, the patient must fully understand this modification, and it should be carefully documented.

As backed up by case law, the types of actions that will lead to liability for abandonment of the patient will include:

• premature turmoil the patient by the physician

• failure of the physician to provide proper instructions before discharging the individual

• the statement by the physician to the patient that the physician will no longer treat the patient

• refusal of the physician to reply to calls or to further attend the sufferer

• the physician's leaving the person after surgery or unable to follow up on postsurgical care.

Generally, abandonment does not occur if the physician to blame for the patient arranges for any substitute physician to take his or her place. This variation may occur because of vacations, relocation from the physician, illness, distance from your patient's home, or retirement of the physician. As long as care by an appropriately trained physician, sufficiently knowledgeable of the patient's special conditions, if any, has been arranged, the courts will most likely not find that abandonment has occurred. Even the place where a patient refuses to purchase the care or is struggling to pay for the care, problems is not at liberty to terminate their bond unilaterally. The physician must still make a plan to have the patient's care assumed by another as well as to give a sufficiently reasonable time period to locate another prior to ceasing to provide care.

Although most of the cases discussed concern the physician-patient relationship, as pointed out previously, the same principles apply to all health care providers. Furthermore, since the care rendered from the home health agency is provided pursuant to a physician's plan of care, set up patient sued problems for abandonment due to the actions (or inactions of the home health agency's staff), the physician may seek indemnification in the home health provider.

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