Access to quality health care is something that almost everyone in Seattle has come to expect. That expectation comes without thought being given to one’s ability to pay. Resources are in place to help even those that are uninsured receive needed medical care. Often that care is offered at community hospitals and health clinics whose primary source of revenue comes not from payments, but rather public funding. Yet simply because the patients at such a facilities may lack the resources to pay does not mean that they should be afforded substandard care.
A medical malpractice lawsuit recently filed in Florida accuses a doctor at such a facility of performing such care. The lawsuit claims that the doctor did not heed a laboring mother’s request to assist her delivery via a C-section after her baby exhibited signs of distress. Instead, the doctor allegedly left her to treat other cases, and was even heard talking on the phone with his financial advisor. When the baby was finally delivered, prolonged oxygen deprivation had left him with brain damage. After hearing experts on both sides testify that earlier intervention could have helped the baby avoid brain damage, the judge hearing the case awarded the boy and his parents a multi-million dollar settlement. As the hospital in question was a community health center supported by federal funds, the U.S. government will ultimately be liable for the settlement.
No matter the circumstances or surroundings in which care is delivered, patients should always be able to expect the best efforts of their providers. If they feel as though they did not receive that, then they may be justified in seeking compensation for their pain and suffering. An attorney may prove to be a valuable ally when arguing such a case.
Source: Local 10 “Miami Gardens family wins $33.8 million medical malpractice award against federal government” Torres, Andrea, Apr. 20, 2017