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Ethics in Health Care

Mary Smith was admitted to Jones Memorial Hospital after being involved in an automobile accident. Her injuries were not severe, but she was admitted for observation when examination revealed possible bleeding in the cranial cavity. Upon admission, she was in a semi-stupor with impaired reactions, possibly due to illegal drug use. About six hours after admission, she became alert and hostile. She demanded to have her clothing returned and insisted on leaving the hospital in a taxi.

Based on the case analysis process outlined in this course, please address the following points:

Step 1 ââ?¬" Identify the facts. You may itemize these in a bulleted list.

Step 2 ââ?¬" Identify any legal issues that are present, and identify the doctrines and/or duties that apply. You may itemize these in a bulleted list.

Step 3 ââ?¬" In your own words, elaborate on the legal issues that are present in the scenario, if any.

Step 4 ââ?¬" Provide your answers to the following questions, and provide your rationale:

a. Does the hospital have informed consent to admit Mary? Why or why not?

b. Does the hospital have informed consent to continue treatment? Why or why not?

c. What action should the hospital take?

d. What liability might the hospital face for action or inaction?

Solution Preview

1. The facts of this case are that:
A. Mary Smith was admitted to Jones Memorial Hospital after being involved in automobile accident for observation.
B. The subsequent observation revealed possible bleeding in the cranial cavity
C. Mary Smith exhibited impaired reactions upon admission
D. Mary Smith became hostile around six hours after admission, and demanded to leave the hospital.

2. The only legal issue that is foresee ably present in the situation, may be an issue that restricts the hospital from detaining Mary Smith.
A. The Fifth ...

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