The human health is one of the most important boons in life. The modern society tries to establish the effective system of well-managed health care facilities. In order to provide the forceful method of human’s life and health protection, this sphere of relations is strictly regulated by the law. All developed countries established the wide and complex system of legislature which regulates issues concerning the functioning of the health care institutions.
The Importance of the Physician-Patient
There are many factors which positively affect the convalescence of the patient. It is obvious that the main factors which make the expected result of the medication are hard work of professional doctors and precisely selected medicines. Nevertheless, the proper attitude of the hospital personnel can significantly affect the state of patient’s health. Consequently, “everyone who wants to be a medic is obliged to swear the Hippocratic Oath expressing fundamental moral ethical principles of the behavior of the doctor” (Andersen, 2010). Moreover, every medical institution establishes the set of rules of behavior for doctors and medical personnel. It is obvious that the physician have to be in good relationships with the patient. “The person can trust the doctor and realize that he or she tries to help” (Woolhandler, Campbell, David, & Himmelstein, 2009). It is extremely necessary, since some types of treatment can only be conducted with the acceptance of the patient; thus, according to Arthur Andersen, “it is important to establish good patient-doctor relationships” (Andersen, 2010). The hospital personnel play no less important role. When the person is treated in the clinic, he communicates with workers of the health care setting constantly; thus, their attitude significantly influences the health of the patient. Based on the above mentioned, it seems to be relevant for managers of health care settings “to develop an effective monitoring mechanism in order to prevent the personnel from breach of the ethical rules” (Woolhandler, Campbell, David, & Himmelstein, 2009).
How Contract Principle and Breach of Warranty Apply to the Health Care Setting
The contract plays an important role in patient-doctor relationships. In the case when the person has some exact disease, he or she enters into the agreement with a doctor or with the health care setting. The parties of the contract have precisely defined rights and responsibilities. The doctor is obliged to provide an effective medication. The patient is responsible for providing the payment for medical services. In some cases, such payment is made by the insurance company. “The scope of the doctor’s liability depends on the issues that are prescribed in the particular contract” (Hacker, 2009). When the physician cannot guarantee the positive result of the treatment, he is not responsible for the convalescence of the patient. It is important to note that the parties sign the contract concerning only one particular illness. “Treatment of each disease is regulated by the separate contract” (Devereaux, Choi, & Lacchette, 2010).
The doctor has the right to terminate the agreement. There are no restrictions concerning this option, and it only depends on his voluntary choice. Nevertheless, he is obliged to send the notification to the patient in 30 days prior to the termination. It is necessary in order to give the opportunity for the client to find a new doctor. “Reasons for contract termination may be the following: breach of duties by the patient, doctor’s lack of the expertise to manage a client’s care, etc” (Watt et al., 2011). The process of the replacement of a physician can also be prescribed by the agreement. In some cases, the doctor who wants to terminate the treaty takes the responsibility for searching a new medic. According to Jacob S. Hacker, “when the patient does not fulfill obligations under the agreement or instructions of the physician, the last one has the right to terminate the contract without any additional responsibilities” (Hacker, 2009).
Analysis of the Four Elements of Proof Necessary
Failure to provide the proper care which causes damages is considered negligence. This negative phenomenon can take place in every professional occupation. In such cases, the injured person or his/her relatives have the right to file a claim to the court. In order to prove the negligence, such person has to provide preponderance evidences.
The claimant should: (1) cite to the duty; (2) prove the obvious breach of the duty; (3) establish the cause-and-effect relation; (4) calculate the damage (Watt et al., 2011).
The first step for plaintiff is to outline the exact liability which was breached by the doctor. “In order to establish some necessary facts it is strongly advisable to compare the activity of other doctors with actions of the defendant” (Woolhandler, Campbell, David, & Himmelstein, 2009). In is necessary to prove that another doctor with the same education and experience would have done all necessary actions in order to avoid negative consequences.
The second step is to prove that the breach of the contract took place. Taking into account the complexity of the doctor’s profession, it seems to be relevant “to involve experts which have sufficient knowledge to decide whether the breach of the duties took place of not” (Woolhandler, Campbell, David, & Himmelstein, 2009).
The next step is to find the cause-and-effect relation between the breach of duties and damage which was caused to the plaintiff. It is necessary “to prove that negative consequences were caused by the exact noncompliance of the duties by the doctor” (Iglehart, 2008). Thus, in any case, the damage should certainly come under the influence of the particular reason.
The final step is to calculate damage that was caused by the negligence. This may include: medical expenses, salary loss, or intangible losses such as suffering, pain, or bereavement. According to Jacob S. Hacker, “the claimant must prove that he or she suffered these damages” (Hacker, 2009).
Based on previously mentioned facts, it should be noticed that the court decide in favor of the plaintiff only when all four facts will be established, since the duty to prove the guilt lies with the complainant.
The Function and Responsibilities of the Governing Board
The governing board of a health care setting has broad responsibilities which are not related to the day-to-day affairs of the corporation. This is the highest management body of legal person, and its power concerns the overall affairs of the setting. “The exact authorities are set forth in the title company’s document such as the statute or founding agreement” (Watt et al., 2011).
Overall affairs of the company usually include: the strategic planning, recruiting staff members, general supervision, budget approval, etc. The main goal of the governing body is to provide an effective and optimal work of the health care setting. According to this, “the Board is responsible for the provision of appropriate conditions in the clinic, timely payment of wages, and provision of the most favorable conditions for the privileged patients” (Woolhandler, Campbell, David, & Himmelstein, 2009). In order to exercise the effective control, the Board fulfills the certifications of quality of services.
Considering the fact that the Board is not a permanent body and is convened at a certain time, it elects the Chief Executive Officer. “The CEO is accountable to the Board and is responsible for the formation of the professional competent administrative team which is responsible for the daily management of the company, its finance, and accounting” (Iglehart, 2008).
The members of the Board are businessmen and bankers. Doctors can also be elected to the Board as representatives of the staff or as experts in the medical field.
The effective protection of human rights in the sphere of providing medical services can be provided only by the way of establishing the system of appropriate legislature. The Anglo-American legal system significantly affected the legislation, which is shown in a substantial influence of the courts decisions on the regulation of the most important issues. The case law is applicable in all spheres of providing medical services, even when the current legislature does not regulate some exact situations.
All issues, which are previously mentioned in this essay, are interconnected. Only the capable governing board with sufficient powers can organize the effective work of the institution. Forming of the competent administrative team and establishment of well-organized staffing system significantly influences the relationships within the company. The professional lawyers can draw up proper agreement between patient and doctor. Finally, the ability to protect the rights and well-written legislation prevents doctors from the breach of the contract and negligence.