Sample Case Study on Health Care

Like other professionals, health care providers have standards of practice that set the requirements for which practitioners hold accountability (Nettina, Mills, & Jacqueline, 2010). The standards provide patients with a way of analyzing the quality of care that they are given. Most health organizations have a quality assurance program that allows for a systematic, deliberate and ongoing mechanism for the evaluation and monitoring health care services in terms of the quality of patient care and organizational management (Nettina, Mills, & Jacqueline, 2010).

Despite such proactive programs that promote responsibility and accountability to deliver high-quality care, malpractices still occur in the medical field (Nettina, Mills, & Jacqueline, 2010). There are different sources of legal risks in healthcare providers such as patient care, procedures performed, and the quality of documentation (Nettina, Mills, & Jacqueline, 2010). Malpractices in healthcare occur when there is negligent conduct in the rendering of professional services (Pearson Education Inc., 2014). There is no assured standard to avoid the medical malpractices, although health care professionals can reduce the risks of malpractice. Negligence in health care is a common phenomenon that occurs even to health care providers who have several years of experience, and the case study will be an example of such malpractice.

After admission to a hospital in 2012, Simon Philips was taken to the rehabilitation unit for care because he was geriatric patient (Mitchell, 2015). However, the health care providers just treated him as a normal patient without gerontological considerations for decubitus ulcers due to limited mobility. This is because old age is a normal occurrence that encompasses all experience of life and care for the elderly cannot be limited to one discipline, but is best provided through cooperative effort (Nettina, Mills, & Jacqueline, 2010). The patient spent most of the time either in bed or a chair with few members of the healthcare team attending to him. Later, he was admitted to another hospital where the pressure sores were assessed and classified as grade four. Unfortunately, the patient died later due to other causes (Mitchell, 2015).

The relatives went to court and claimed that the medical staff had contributed to the death of Mr. Simon Philips (Mitchell, 2015). They said that the pressure sores developed a week after admission to the hospital, and proper care was not done to prevent advancement of the existing pressure sore and the development of other pressure sores in other prone areas. By the time the late Mr. Simon was discharged, most tissues had become necrotic and together with his old age, the underlying medical condition worsened, ultimately leading to his death (Mitchell, 2015).

The defendants also had their claims against those who represented Mr. Simon’s estate. They claimed that there was no proper relationship between the patient and medical team, and he did no consent to most of the aspects of care that he was offered (Mitchell, 2015). As professionals who are bound by ethical and legal standards of care, they could not force the patient because he had the right to choose. In addition, the wounds were managed because the medical negligence lawyer who was sent to investigate the case found out that the patient had healed from the wounds before his death that occurred later (Mitchell, 2015). The documentation also revealed that the relatives were involved to get consent, but they were reluctant to act because they feared the old man (Mitchell, 2015).

Finally, the defendant was found negligent. The medical negligence lawyer proved that the medical staff owed a duty of care for the late Mr. Philips by virtue of their professional requirements. The services rendered to the patient were also not performed according to the standards of care that are integral to their respective professions. In addition, the plaintiff found out that the pressure sore had resulted in necrotic tissue that was a permanent injury for Mr. Philip. Therefore, the ruling was that Mr. Simon’s estate was to be compensated for the pain and suffering that the medical staff had caused.

The defendants had the best legal argument despite the fact that they lost the case. Although the medical staff had the liability to intervene and reduce the risk of injury to the patient, they applied other ethical and legal issues in their profession such as the rights of the patient and seeking for an informed consent before handling the late Mr. Philips (Nettina, Mills, & Jacqueline, 2010). However, such reasoning is not appropriate because it caused the loss of life. Each member of the medical team knows what is good for the patient, and they should use philosophical principles to resolve such problems to avoid losing the patient because of the value attached to life.

The representatives of the late Mr. Philips had the proof of injury and ultimate death of the patient, but they did not understand the he was an old patient and there are changes that are caused by the aging process that are affected by the genetic composition and cannot be averted. (Nettina, Mills, & Jacqueline, 2010)



Mitchell, I. (2015, January 17). Patient Lawyers. Retrieved from Medical Negligence: http: // www. patient

Nettina, Mills, M. S., & Jacqueline. (2010). Lippincott Manual of Nursing Practice. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Pearson Education Inc. (2014, January 17). Law in Action: Understanding Canadian Law. Retrieved from Negligence and Unintentional Torts: http://