Medical Justice® aggressively addresses the interest of doctors within the changing landscape of medical practice. Our mission; to protect our members' most important assets - reputation, character and integrity - against frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits, Internet defamation and unwarranted demands for refunds.



Nov 21 2014

Refusing to treat patients. When you want distance from a patient’s infection, morality, and politics. Part 2

Published by under Healthcare Reform

We return to our discussion of can you refuse to treat a patient.

2. Moral opposition to a treatment

The analysis again starts with the contractual nature of the physician-patient relationship. The patient seeks care and the doctor agrees to provide it. In that idealized situation both parties remain in full agreement on the care.

However, along the way the doctor and patient disagree as to what treatments are “moral.” This raises the question to what extent the doctor may step away from that care. A patient may also seek care from the start that the doctor finds morally objectionable but the patient may not have reasonable alternatives (such as very rural area or a very specialized type of practice).

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Nov 21 2014

Word to the wise. Not all subpoenas to doctors are the same.

Published by under Healthcare Reform

Doctors receive subpoenas all the time. Lawyers send subpoenas for medical records when their client has been injured in a fender-bender; is seeking money from worker’s compensation; and when suing a doctor for negligence. In each of these cases, the lawyer is seeking the medical record to serve his client – (the patient).

 

What happens when a lawyer sends a subpoena for medical records when his client’s interests are adverse to the patient? This can create a pickle for the doctor. We are taught to comply with subpoenas. We are also taught to respect patient privacy.

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Nov 14 2014

Refusing to treat patients. When you want distance from a patient’s infection, morality, and politics. Part 1

Published by under Healthcare Reform

Can you refuse to treat a patient? The simple answer is “Yes – of course.” But, when it comes to the law, there are layers to that answer.

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Nov 14 2014

How to Avoid Being Burned as an Employer

Published by under Healthcare Reform

I’ve spoken with several doctors over the past couple of months. All were dragged into litigation related to their role as an employer. They were being sued by ex-employees. The allegations varied – sexual harassment; improper termination; discrimination.

 

In 2011, the Equal Employment Opportunity commission (EEOC) received over 100,000 charges of employment discrimination. The numbers go up every year.

 

Real world examples:

 

  • A former employee claims she was unfairly terminated due to religious discrimination and received $110,000 in back pay and compensatory damages.

 

Ouch.

 

Such cases generate expensive legal expenses, onerous settlements, and rotten publicity. Need I go on?

 

More troubling is that most general business liability policies do NOT cover the following:

  • Wrongful dismissal, termination, or discharge;
  • Failure or refusal to hire or promote
  • Sexual or other workplace harassment
  • Employment discrimination
  • Invasion of privacy
  • Employment related defamation
  • Retaliation

 

It’s difficult to keep up with the laundry list of federal and state regulations that address employee management. Just hiring a lawyer to defend a winnable case is not cheap.

 

So, what to do?

 

Consider purchasing Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI). Many companies that sell worker’s comp insurance sell these policies. One such company is Hartford. The cost is quite reasonable. You want to purchase it before you need it. As someone said of a gun and parachute – if you don’t have it when you need it, you’ll probably never need it again.

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Nov 07 2014

What do you do when your patient is sporting a swastika tattoo?

Published by under Healthcare Reform

Any physician who has spent time taking care of trauma patients has been cursed at, spit at, and more. If you are a woman or member of racial or ethnic minority, some patients have belittled you. If you are from another country and speak with an accent, some patients have requested another doctor.

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9 responses so far

Nov 07 2014

Not Your Everyday Informed Consent Issues

Published by under Healthcare Reform

It’s no secret that availability of organs for transplantation in the US pales in comparison to demand. Many die each year waiting for an organ. The systems that oversee transplantation define rules which allow one to “wait in line.” You get an organ based on the seriousness of your condition, your place in line, and whether you can persuade a living donor to participate. (For a living donor, this assumes it’s a “non-vital” organ – eg: one of the donor’s two kidneys, liver, etc. Obviously a living donor cannot donate his heart.)

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