Medical Malpractice Cases

Medical Malpractice Cases


Medical Malpractice Cases

Question 1

The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), an act of the Congress, was enacted in 1986. It requires hospitals to provide immediate emergency care to patients with urgent medical conditions, regardless of their race and ability to pay for medical services (Stefan, 2006). These provisions apply to all patients inclusive of those under the Medicare program. In 1991, in the Burditt v U.S Health and Human Services, Mrs. Rosa Rivera was in an emergency condition where she was experiencing labor and severe contractions. Burditt turned away the patient and ordered her to be transferred to another hospital, 170 miles away. Mrs. Rosa’s blood pressure was high, and this endangered the baby’s life. Dr. Burditt violated the EMTALA guidelines and was ordered to pay a fine worth US$20,000 (Grant & Ballard, 2011).

Question 2

The Locality Rule is a principle that states that in a professional malpractice lawsuit, the standard care used by the professional is the same degree of care exercised by other professionals in the practice. Therefore, in a lawsuit, the plaintiff must demonstrate the standard of care expected and how the care they received is a breach. In the Pesantes v United States case of 1980, Pesantes was operated on by Dr. Battit but died on the operating table due to the negligence of the practitioners. Upon examining the case, the district court ruled that Dr. Battit violated the locality rule as he had not practiced medicine in Louisiana and therefore, he was not familiar with the standard care and skill in the region (Best, Barnes & Kahn-Fogel, 2014).

Question 3

There are other ways of determining standard care. A survey should be done by physicians and their responses to what they think standard care is. Once this is done, a collective report should be done and establish the similarities in their answers, which can be used to determine what standard care should be.



Best, A., Barnes, D. W., & Kahn-Fogel, N. (2014). Basic tort law: Cases, statutes, and problems. New York: Wolters Kluwer Law et Business.

Grant, P., & Ballard, D. (2011). Law for nurse leaders. New York, NY: Springer Pub. Co., LLC.

Stefan, S. (2006). Emergency department treatment of the psychiatric patient. Oxford: Oxford University Press.










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