Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Was a Pennsylvania doctor pressured into making a mistake?

In what must be considered one of the most unusual legal matters ever tried in Pennsylvania, a doctor and nurse must now answer to a number of assertions that they caused the death of a man by reversing that man's medically induced sedation. The reason given as to why the sedation was reversed was because law enforcement officers wished to effectuate an arraignment.

Though this could be considered an unusual claim for medical negligence, the doctor is now facing allegations of professional liability and wrongful death because the doctor's actions may have contributed to the death of the patient. In any case, it seems like the only reason the doctor took the steps he did was to awaken the patient was to comply with police officers' requests.

Assuming that the reversal of sedation was an act a doctor knew or should have known could bring harm to a patient, this doctor apparently took the actions that he did for other reasons than the patient's health. It could be perceived that actions against his better judgment because he allowed himself to be strong armed by individuals that had no medical training.

Medical personnel are employed to do all they can to restore the health of a patient. However, when they allow other concerns to interfere with that job duty, they are in danger of performing medical malpractice. Patients and attorneys file malpractice claims because doctors have put other concerns above that of the health of the patient.

Convenience, financial concerns or outside pressure should not prevent a doctor from doing all they can to help the patient, and such doctors must be held accountable for not doing their best to achieve that goal.

Source: Courthouse News Service, "Dad Can Sue for Fatal Sedation Reversal," by Erin Mcauley, March 14, 2012

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
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