intro to healthcare law discussion posts

Answer the questions no less than 250 words, no copy and paste, no plagiarism.

    1.)Refer to Cardwell v. Bechtol case study found in the case study folder. Was the consent verbal or written? Does the case discuss the elements of informed consent?

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    (Robert post)

    In the case study involving Cardwell v. Bechtol, an osteopathic physician was being sued by the parents of a 17 year old girl who was treated by the physician without obtaining consent from the parents. Ms. Cardwell went to see Bechtol, an osteopathic physician, who had treated her father for similar injuries in the past. After explaining her injuries and previous prognoses, Bechtol explained that he would perform treatments on her over the next couple of weeks known as spinal manipulation. Bechtol, a physician who had been blind for most of his life, ascertained that Ms. Cardwell was a mature young woman, mentally capable of providing consent for herself, and verbally took her consent to perform treatment. After having this treatment done, she experienced severe back pain and was eventually admitted to the hospital. Her parents then decided to sue Bechtol, claiming that he had not obtained their consent to treat their daughter.

    Ms. Cardwell was only 5 months away from her 18th birthday, so it’s not as if she was an incompetent child. Her parents also allowed her to go visit her primary physician alone, on the same day that she visited Bechtol. The primary physician did not obtain consent from the parents prior to seeing Ms. Cardwell, but they did not have an issue with that. Bechtol explained to Ms. Cardwell what he was going to do to help treat her, but he did not go into detail about the possible side effects or risks that may arise from his treatment. He did not disclose this because any risks involved are very minimal, and therefore do not warrant much explanation. Ms. Cardwell was considered mature for age by all those familiar with her, mentally capable of making her own decisions, and only 5 months away from being a legal adult. Bechtol probably could have explained his treatment and risks of that treatment a bit more, but over all he followed proper procedure. Perhaps if he was not blind, he could have seen that she looked young, but he judged her on how well she spoke and acted, and deemed that she was of mature age and of sound reasoning.

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    (Noelle post)

    The case study that we read about Cardwell vs Bechtol is about the issue of consent in regards to doctor and patient. Dr. Bechol was a partially blind physician specializing in osteopathic medicine when he was approached by Ms. Cardwell, a 17 year old female, for treatment. Ms. Cardwell’s father had previously been treated by the doctor and had knowledge of the doctor and his practices as well as he was aware of her family’s medical issues. She proceeded to tell the doctor about her current medical condition and asked for his help in treating her. The doctor felt that Ms. Cardwell was of an appropriate age and had the mental capability to make her own medical decisions therefore taking her verbal consent for the treatment of her medical issues by spinal manipulation. After being treated by Dr. Bechol, Ms. Cardwell began having severe back pain that yielded her to go to the hospital. The parents of Ms. Cardwell decided that it was in their best interest to take Dr. Bechol to court with the claim that she was not consented properly and that he was ultimately responsible for her injuries. ALthough Ms. Cardwell was nearly 18 years old ( just 5 months away) she was still not of legal age to make medical decisions without the consent of her parents. Even though she was allowed to attend prior doctor’s appointments alone, she was still not able to consent to treatments without the written consent of her parents. Dr. Bechol did not properly give informed consent by explaining all the risks and benefits to the procedure. Although some feel that it is an acceptable excuse to say that the doctor was blind and he wasn’t able to see the girl well, and that if he was able to see better, maybe he would’ve made sure to obtain consent, it is still not proper practice. A patient (or legal guardian), regardless of age, is entitled to informed consent and in most cases it is necessary to sign for that consent so that it is in writing. It is better for consent to be in writing so that when there is an issue and consent needs to be confirmed it can be pulled up and seen. I understand that there can be some situations in which a verbal consent must be used- such as in the case of an emergency, but eventually there must be some form of written consent eventually.

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