Quiz 5: Understanding Your Legal Obligations


The Patient's health bill came in 1973. It accepts some basic rights and responsibilities given to the patients by American Hospital Association (AHA). It gives the patient the right to freedom to know all the information regarding the kind of the health care provided by the hospital and doctor, treatment procedure followed and bill details. The rights given to the patient are as follows: 1. The people that are involved in the care of a patient should give their identity and occupation related information, whenever a patient asks them. 2. The patients have given the right to discuss about the methods followed by the doctors in their treatment. They should be involved in making decisions regarding their health care. They should have knowledge of the risks involved in the procedure and any alternative methods, if any. 3. Patients have the right to receive a clean and hygienic surrounding during their care period. For the safety purposes, strict guidelines are given to the hospitals. 4. Patient's health related information or procedures are kept secret so that they do not get bothered. For their convenience, the hospital should inform the patient about how to get their medical care information. 5. To deal with the risk of the future, the hospital provides patients about their medical options that are available after they get departure from there. 6. The details of the charges included by the hospitals in the bills are given to the patient. The payment methods are described by the hospitals to the patient and they are given instructions about the insurance claim.

Health care workers are required to do every possible thing they can do to offer a high quality care to their patients and should follow the steps to reduce faults. If it is found that a health care worker had committed any sort of mistakes or not provided the best quality care, then he or she may be guilty of committing medical malpractice. Malpractice means bad practice or an illegal, improper professional behavior. If there is any kind of medical malpractice, the legal system examines the reality of the incident happened in each case and then decides whether the health care professional is guilty or not. In the given case, a surgeon operates on patient's liver. The patient died, while the operation was going on due to heart attack. Death during surgery due to heart attack is common, but it is required by the surgeon to take precautions to avoid the chances of heart attack. It is clearly specified in the case, that the patient had a very advanced case of heart disease and the surgeon was unaware of this. This distinctly proves that the surgeon committed one of the errors of medical malpractice, that is, mistakes during surgery. It also proves that the surgeon made some error, while diagnosing the patient because he/she was unaware of the patient's advanced heart disease.

A living will and a durable power of attorney are two types of the advance directives. Both, living bill and durable power of attorney are legal documents. A living will states the instructions, which relate to the health care facilities provided to the patient. These facilities are provided when the patient become permanently ill. A durable power of attorney, mainly serve the process of providing a health care proxy to the patient. If a patient is worried about having no living will, then the health care worker should help the patient. The health care worker can consult with the health care authorities or the human resource management to provide money, from the hospital fund, to the patient. The patient, with the help of that money, can appoint a lawyer. The hospital authorities can also provide a lawyer from their side, to the patient. With the help of the lawyer, the patient can prepare the living will and also the durable power of attorney. The health care worker can also suggest him about some organizations, which provide money to the needy people. In this way also the patient can hire a lawyer to make the legal documents.