Medical Case Study
[Student’s Full Name]
[Professor’s Full Name]
In this essay, we shall discuss a series of aspects concerning the legal aspect of health care, and the ethical implications of tampering a patient’s medical records. To do so, we shall answer a series of questions provided beforehand.
What procedure should be followed when clarifying a patient’s medical record? It is important to note how important is to keep a consistent and accurate medical record documentation to promote a quality patient care. Given the fact that the medical record is the best evidence of which care the patient received, it is important to preserve it untampered. Also, altering the file would mean that the physician fears a lawsuit and tries to “correct” its mistakes. Correcting, on the other hand, refers to a change during the ordinary course of therapy. The corrections made are notified to the rest of the staff to avoid problems during treatment,
Is correction fluid helpful when clarifying medical record entries? As we said, if the intentions are to do revisions that clarify the patients’ care and show the changes throughout the patient’s treatment, it is. However, if it used to alter the records, it might be seen as a sign of guilt and fear of a lawsuit.
Explain Humana Hospital Corporation v. Spears Paterson. In this case, the patient sued Humana because the doctor they represented failed to administer the correct injection –the doctor conducted a lumbar epidural steroid injection instead of an epidural injection- The patient sued the physician on the grounds of negligence and malpractice. The problem came when Humana decided not to release a series of documents and considered them privileged to prevent their disclosure. Besides, given the fact that those records could be used against Humana in a court, they decided not to disclose them. The court concluded that Humana should not disclose the documents, as to prevent that the Corporation incriminated itself during the trial.
Do you agree with the court’s decision? Law says that no person should be forced to incriminate itself. That way, if the tribunal considers that the trial can proceed without those documents, it can. However, the doctor’s malpractice should not go unpunished.
Why privilege from discovery does not extend to all documents maintained in the ordinary course of business? The purpose of privileged communications is to keep a thorough communication between the hospital staff, to avoid malpractices and potential lawsuits. Everything that is outside those communications is not privileged. In a strict sense, trying to hide a document that might incriminate any part of the process is a punishable offense. However, in this case, the court ruled that Humana’s communications with the accreditation committee were privileged because they offered a deliberative process between the board and the hospital staff.