LEGALS OF HEALTH CARE
Occupational hazards are numerous and expensive to the organizations. There are laws that safeguard the employee’s physical and emotional well-being. Medical Profession is ‘accountable’ to the society today and obliged to the laws regulating the professional activity. This ‘accountability’ is usually spelt out in “Patient Care Documents” established by hospital associations and medical associations or councils of every country (Suzanne, 2004). Legal challenges and court decisions can seriously affect a doctor’s professional future.
CORPORATE CRIMINAL LIABILITY AND LIABILITY RESULTING FROM NEGLIGENCE OF AN HEALTH CARE ORGANIZATION.
An adverse medical event is an injury caused due to medical treatment rather than the disease for which the patient is treated. This adverse medical event prolongs the hospitalization process causing disabilities, either permanent or temporary. An adverse medical event due to negligence thus is an injury proved to be due to the sub-standard medical care not expected of a medical practitioner. An adverse medical event can be a temporary disability or even death due to injury. Although in most of the medical litigations, the severity of the patient disability has been predictive in judgments in favor of the patients, negligence does have an impact on importance of high-quality medical care and doctor accountability in adverse medical events. The Court usually award three types of damages.1.Compensatory damages – for an injured plaintiff’s economic losses, costs of health care and lost wages. 2. Compensatory damages – for non economic losses including pain, suffering associated to injury and 3. Punitive damages – in cases where a defendant (here, a doctor) has been found to have acted in a willful fashion, demonstrating negligence with no regard for the patient’s well being. Thus, punitive damages aim to punish the defendants and are very damaging to the physicians. Medical malpractice law is part of tort, or personal injury law. The standard used to evaluate whether the breach in question rises to the level of negligence is called ‘medical custom’. Medical custom is the quality of care expected of a doctor. The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) was passed in 1970 to assure so far as possible every working woman and man in the Nation safe and healthy working conditions and to preserve human resources. The Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1970 created (OSHA) the Occupational Safety and Health Administration within the Department of labour. The importance of such laws can be well documented by the statistical survey of Occupational hazards. Violations on job safety and health can call for a penalty of $7000 to $70,000, depending on the seriousness of the violation. In case of deaths due to willful violation, a penalty up to $2,50,000 for an individual and $5,00,000 for a corporation with imprisonment up to six months can be imposed as per the law.
WHEN CORPORATIONS BE HELD CRIMINALLY LIABLE
OSHA requirements demand that organizations with eleven or more employees should maintain records of work related occupational hazards. A recordable case is an injury or illness that results in death, days away from duty, restricted work or transfer to another job due to disability, or medical treatment beyond first aid (Bohlander, 2004). For example, When a boiler explosion killed 6 workers at Ford’s Rouge Power Plant, Ford was fined $1.5 million and directed to spend $6million on safety measures.
IMPACT OF THE STATUS OF THE AGENT, EMPLOYEE VERSUS INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR
One of the key responsibilities of the Occupational Safety and Health administration has been the development of mandatory job safety and health standards enforce these standards and monitor them. These standards have been classified into four categories. 1. General Industry 2. Maritime 3. Construction and 4. Agriculture. These standards cover the workplace, machinery, material, power sources, processing, protective measures, first aid and administrative requirements.
q Bohlander, Snell, Thomson, “Managing Human Resources’, South- western, International Student Edition, 2004.
q Suzanne C. Smeltzer, Brenda.G, Brunner & suddharth’s, “Textbook of Medical Surgical Nursing”, 10th edn Lippincott U.S.A, 2004.