Oftentimes, people in Providence will gladly defer to the expertise of their doctors when making medical decisions. However, patients still must be given the opportunity to have the final say in what procedures and treatments that they do and do not consent to. Should a doctor make the decision for them, then that provider may be taking the accountability for the outcome of a procedure out of their hands and placing it squarely on his or her shoulders.
The ongoing legal case involving the untimely death if comedienne Joan Rivers may be an ideal example of the issues that may arise when a doctor allegedly takes over the decision making role for his or her patients. In the case of Rivers, a lawsuit filed against the medical facility where she died alleges that the star’s personal ear, nose, and throat doctor was granted unauthorized access to the surgical suite where the actress was having a routine endoscopic procedure done. She then proceeded to perform a transnasal laryngoscopy, a procedure that she had not been authorized by Rivers to do. The case recently appeared to come to a close when it was announced that Rivers’ daughter had reached a settlement with the facility.
Doctors may have a wealth of clinical knowledge to offer, yet they still must respect the wishes of their patients. A doctor taking it upon him or herself to make decisions regarding his or her patients care without their consent may end up doing more harm than good. If and when this happens, his or her patients may be within their rights to hold him or her personally accountable for any unauthorized decisions. Such accountability may be easily attained if one has an experienced attorney available to help him or her out.
Source: Newsweek “Joan Rivers’ Daughter Melissa Settles Medical Malpractice Lawsuit” Ahmed, Tufayel, May 13, 2016