You are the CEO of Acme Hospital, a small rural facility. On your staff, there is a physician (OB-GYN), Dr. Thomas Cole, with whom you have been having some problems. Dr. Cole does not finish his morning rounds on a regular basis, he does not attend medical staff meetings, and he is often very late in arriving to deliver babies. In fact, most of the time, the nurses on duty in the delivery room deliver the majority of Dr. Cole's babies. You know that these issues must be addressed but there are other connecting problems. First, Dr. Cole is the son of Dr. Frederick Cole who just retired after 55 years of service with Acme Hospital. Dr. Fred was much beloved among hospital staff and before he left, he used his charm and status to make certain staff members (you were not one) promise to help and to protect his son, the younger Cole. You know that when you begin raising these issues there will likely be resistance to take any action.
Dr. Thomas Cole's behavior can create some legal issues for the organization. If one of the nurses helping deliver the baby is a Certified Nurse Midwife or Certified Professional Midwife there are no legal issues surrounding them attending the delivery (womenshealth.gov, nd). However, if complications arise leading to injury or illness of the baby or the mother and the nurses are not CNMs or CNPs the hospital and Dr. Thomas Cole may be named in a law suit. Nurses who are questioned about their methods may also be ...
A legal health scenario is examined.