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Law and Healthcare System Administration

Autor:   •  November 13, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  1,984 Words (8 Pages)  •  1,500 Views

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Executive Summary

As this writer pursues a career in the area of health care administration it is important for her to understand the legal implications involved in her actions. These can either be directly and clearly expressed or inherently insinuated. Consequences can result for the organization if one does not follow these governed rules.

It is the intention of this paper, firstly, to gain insight into the importance of the physician-patient and hospital-patient relationships. We will then determine how contract principle and breach of warranty apply to the health care setting. Furthermore, we will explore at least four elements of proof necessary for a plaintiff to prove negligence. Finally, we will discuss the functions and responsibilities of the governing board of a health care corporation.

Physician-Patient and Hospital-Patient Relationships

Historically, patients were seen as totally dependent on physicians for decision-making. The physician was regarded as an absolute authority whose judgments were not questioned. If a patient had a preference their input was generally ignored. During the second half of the twentieth century this relationship changed; a shared decision-making approach emerged. Patients were now respected as individuals who can make informed decisions about their well being based on their personal beliefs and values. They were now seen as individuals who could weigh out treatment options, risks, and benefits, and choose their own treatment plan (Ludwig, 1998).

When physicians and patients come together a certain kind of bond evolves based on trust. This relationship is critical to the diagnosis and therapeutic interventions that will take place. This confidence is strengthened when the patient openly and effectively communicates pertinent information related to his/her illness or injury, which in turn allows the physician to accurately identify issues and formulate treatment plans that can be discussed with the client. Underlying this conviction is that the patient trusts the physician’s competence and expects that the doctor will maintain confidentiality based on professional ethical standards (Ludwig, 1998).

The doctor-patient relationship is usually entered into consensually, with the exception being, if the patient is unconscious and an emergency arises. A face-to-face contact does not need to occur for this alliance to exist as in the case of a pathologist who may examine tissue samples to help with diagnosing. It’s also important to keep in mind that a doctor can refuse to enter into a contract with a patient based on various factors, including, but not limited to, the city in which they choose to practice, the type of practice, and/or, the population they cater to, for example, pediatrics, OB/Gyn,, the VA, etc. (Showalter, 2012).

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