Sample Health Care Paper on Healthcare-Law (Case Summary) between Stowers v. Wolodzko
The relevant parties in the case were Dr. Wolodozko (psychiatrist) and Mrs. Stowers (a housewife). The housewife (the plaintiff) brought the matter to the court, which originated from the Wayne County Probate Court (Showalter, 2020). The dispute was that the plaintiff felt she was imprisoned falsely, assaulted, and battered and that the doctor engaged in medical malpractice.
The plaintiff’s behavior prompted the husband to seek the defendant’s help. The plaintiff was determined to be mentally ill and was court-ordered to be committed to Ardmore Acres. At the facility, she resisted treatment; hence it was done forcefully. The plaintiff was denied communication until she found an unlocked phone, called her relatives, and was released through a court order (Showalter, 2020). Based on the facts, I am interested in knowing the conditions for the release.
The litigation issues were false imprisonment, assault and battery, and medical malpractice (Showalter, 2020). However, I disagree with the court’s framing of the issue as they do not provide a direct response.
The court found the defendant culpable of medical practice while the jury made a verdict on assault and battery and false imprisonment in the plaintiff’s favor of $40,000. The rationale was that his actions were against psychiatry practice. In addition, forcefully giving the patient medication amounts to assault, and denying her any form of communication while withholding her is false imprisonment (Showalter, 2020). However, I disagree with the holdings as the plaintiff’s commitment to the facility was court-ordered after it was proven she had a mental condition and her husband had consented, except that she was denied communication.
The ruling by the court implies that a person considered to lack the capacity to consent to treatment may sue healthcare practitioners even when consent was issued by their legal partners and caregivers, including under the law. The implication at the time was that whether court ordered or not, persons with mental conditions could not be held against their will even when it was consented by their caregivers. Therefore, healthcare administrators should advocate for laws and establish institutional policies to protect their practitioners. However, if the case were decided differently, patients in mental health facilities would be denied communication, including with their loved ones.
Showalter, J. S. (2020). The law of healthcare administration. Chicago, IL: Health Administration Press.