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Physician arrested

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15 years 2 months ago #65957 by JDmom
I'm a lawyer (please, hold the tomatoes, I don't do medical malpractice) doing my pre-med classes right now, and as someone who works in the field of civil rights violations I can tell you I see this sort of thing all the time.

Most law enforcement officers are well-intentioned, brave and proffessional, I'm sure, but when you get the wrong kind of personality with that badge it is amazing the arrogance and lawlessness it can produce.

Legally, the doctor would not have any way to demand a public reprimand, but (s)he certainly could (and I imagine will) file a federal civil rights law suit against the officer. They are very hard to win, but if the officer violated clearly established constitutional law (which he certainly did), then he can be held accountable. If the doctor can show that the police department improperly trained the officer, and had a pattern and practice of improper training, the the doctor could sue the police department as well.

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15 years 1 month ago #65958 by delchrys
why wouldn't the officer's arrest of the physician, ridiculous as it was, fall under the "discretionary function" exemption of state officials for tort suits?

i'm not asking to be argumentative, just curious, since you work in civil rights (i am a soon-to-be-graduating law student who DOES do med mal...defense).

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15 years 1 month ago #65959 by bjg
I volunteered in an ER for more than 2 yrs, and I saw several problem blood draws related to criminal activity.

The main theme, however, seemed to be nurses who were (rightly so) unwilling to draw blood out of an argumentative/unwilling pt.

The system (docs, cops, no hassle from administration) seemed to agree that the nurse had the right to protect herself, and that if it was too dangerous, then no blood draw.

This was pretty normal in the ER, and the cops understood the situation, so I imagine that cop was out of his flipping mind--or had very little experience.

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15 years 1 month ago #65960 by JDmom
Re: Delchrys's question about why wouldn't the arrest fall under discretionary duty. You are certainly right that that is what the policeman would argue, but violating a known constitutional right does not fall withn discretionary duty. The fight would then be about whether the constitutional right not to give blood against one's will is sufficiently well establisehd that the officer did or should have known it, hence taking his actions out of the scope of the discretionary duty defense.

Sorry docs, I didn't mean to make this into a legal forum.

And Delchrys, good luck in law school and with medical malpractice defense. When I said I don't do med mal, I certainly meant no disrespect to those who defend doctors. I just didn't want to be tarred with the brush of those who are perceived as suing them wantonly. I just don't practice anywhere near that field.

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