© 2008 The Medical-Legal News
The September 2008 issue of the Legal Eagle Eye Newsletter (www.nursinglaw.com) reported on four medical cases with unusual twists.
• In an Ohio case, a truck driver was discharged from a hospital after an outpatient procedure. He had been given 4 mg of Dilaudin and told not to drive. The patient walked out of the hospital, climbed into a tractor-trailer truck and left. A nurse called police to warn that the patient was driving. An appeals court upheld the nurse’s actions and the resulting probable cause that police had to pull over and arrest the driver.
• While sexual exploitation in healthcare settings is usually thought of as the forceful advances of a healthcare worker onto a vulnerable dependent adult, submissive behavior is also sexual exploitation. In an Iowa case, a female CNA, presumably for her own pleasure, allowed a 90-year-old man with behavioral problems to fondle her.
• In another case, from Nevada, a nurse did not chart herself as being a witness to a substitute decision-makers consent before life support was withdrawn from a patient. Two witnesses are required in Nevada, and two were present, but the nurse did not document herself as one of them. The lack of documentation was critical, as the case went to the state supreme court and the court ruled that the consent form was invalid.
• In a Louisiana case, a nursing home, without any consultation with a decedent’s family, had the decedent buried. The home’s administrator knew who the family was and how to contact them. The court awarded about $5,000 in disinterment expenses and $5,000 in mental anguish damages.