Patient Abandonment : Home Health Care

Elements of explanation for Action for Abandonment

Each of the following five elements must be present for a patient to have a proper city cause cardione kaufen dm of action for the tort of abandonment:

  1. Health care treatment was unreasonably terminated.
  2. The firing of health care was contrary to the patient’s will or without the patient’s knowledge.
  3. The health care provider failed to arrange for care by another appropriate skilled health care provider.
  4. The health care provider should have reasonably foreseen that harm to the person would arise from the firing of the care (proximate cause).
  5. The person actually suffered harm or loss as a result of the discontinuance of care.

Physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals have an honourable, as well as a legal, duty to avoid abandonment of patients. The health care professional has a duty to give his or her patient all necessary attention as long as the case required it and should not leave the person in a critical stage without giving reasonable notice or making suitable arrangements for the presence of another. [2]

Abandonment by the Physician

When a physician undertakes treatment of a patient, treatment must continue prior to the patient’s circumstances no longer guarantee the treatment, health related conditions and the patient mutually consent to end the treatment by that physician, or the person discharges health related conditions. Moreover, health related conditions may unilaterally terminate the relationship and withdraw from treating that patient only if she or he provides patient proper notice of his or her intent to withdraw and to be able to obtain proper substitute care.

In the home health setting, the physician-patient relationship does not terminate merely because a patient’s care alterations in its location from the hospital to the home. If the patient continues to need medical services, administered health care, therapy, or other home health services, the attending physician should ensure that he or she was properly discharged his or her-duties to the patient. Virtually every situation ‘in which home care is approved by Medicare, Medicaid, or an insurance company will be one in which the patient’s ‘needs for care have continued. The physician-patient relationship that existed in the hospital will continue unless it has been formally terminated by notice to the patient and a reasonable attempt to refer the person to another appropriate physician. Otherwise, health related conditions will retain his or her duty toward the person when the patient is discharged from the hospital to the home. Failure to follow through on the part of health related conditions will constitute the tort of abandonment if the patient is injured as a result. This abandonment may expose health related conditions, a medical facility, and the home health agency to liability for the tort of abandonment.

The attending physician in the hospital should ensure that a proper referral was created to a health care professional who will lead to the home health patient’s care while it is being delivered by the home health provider, unless health related conditions hopes to continue to watch over that home care personally. Even more important, if the hospital-based physician arranges accomplish the patient’s care assumed by another physician, the person must know this change, and it must be carefully documented.

As supported by case law, the types of actions that will lead to liability for abandonment of a patient will include:

• premature discharge of the patient by the physician

• failure of the physician to provide proper instructions before discharging the person

• the statement by the physician to the patient that the physician will not treat the person

• refusal of the physician to respond to calls or or further attend the person

• the healthcare provider’s leaving the person after surgery or failing to follow up on postsurgical care. [3]

Generally, abandonment does not occur if the physician responsible for the person arranges for a substitute physician to take his or her place. This change may occur because of vacations, relocation of the physician, illness, distance from the patient’s home, or retirement of the physician. As long as care by an appropriately trained physician, sufficiently knowledgeable of the patient’s special conditions, if any, has been arranged, the courts ought to not find that abandonment has occurred. [4] Even where a patient refuses to pay for the care or is unable to pay for the care, health related conditions is not at liberty to terminate the relationship unilaterally. Health related conditions must still take steps accomplish the patient’s care assumed by another [5] or or give a sufficiently reasonable period of time to locate another prior to ceasing to provide care.

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