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drugged up with morphine & then told to leave hospital & Dr refused to treat me!

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Old May 29th, 2008, 03:23 AM   #1
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Angry drugged up with morphine & then told to leave hospital & Dr refused to treat me!

Hi, I have a case that I want a lawyer to represent me in, but every lawyer I have contacted, even those who appeared to specialize in these types of cases has declined representation, but thoroughly encourages, even urges that I seek representation immediately and instructs me to not wait because there are statuates of limitations that run out quickly and urge me to not wait in persueing this matter. (i will include their replies to me at the end of this post) I am sorry this post is long, but there's no way for me to convey it without including all the events that took place, in order to get an accurate opinion on how to go about retaining a lawyer who is first of all, willing to even take the case. The case should be a hands-down , easy to prove case that can either be easily won, or easily settled without even having to go into a courtroom, if i could just find a lawyer to take the case.. i don't understand why the atty's i have contacted have declined to take the case, can someone with knowledge in this area read this and let me know how to proceed? I would greatly appreciate any advice given.... Ok, 1st, I just want to say that I have evidence to back up everything I allege hear, so proving this case should not be difficult:

I have all medical reports in my possession and have filed a complaint with The Hospital Administration, who in turn forwarded my complaint to Progressive Medical Associates, the contracted ER physicans group, And I received a letter in response to my complaint telling me that the complaint is being reviewed by the appropriate officials, however I will not be notified of the outcome, or any disciplinary action taken against the physician or staff, included is also a letter of apology, where, lack of a better word, are majorly sucking up to me, and doing alot of butt kissing, other than that, I have not heard anything else back from them, even though in the letter they tell me i will be contacted by one of the officials looking into this matter to follow up with me.

On 02/27/2008 I checked into the ER at Banner Desert Medical Center with a case of MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphyloccoccus Auerus) I was triaged rather quickly and taken back to the treatment area of the ER and an IV Heplock was established and I was given IV antibiotics & 2 Vicodin for pain. The Dr. discussed with me the need to perform an Incision & Drainage proceedure,because the area had become abcessed with fluid, I had this done before on the back of my leg & it was absolutely excruciating, the staff actually had to hold my legs and arms still while the Dr inserted large a needle into the area to numb it, so I informed this Dr in advance that I needed to be sedated and to please make sure the area was well numb before the procedure, otherwise, through previous experience, my conditioned response to pain would depict me as being uncooperative, since I have had this procedure done before and already knew how I would react because I was able to feel most of the procedure last time.The last Dr that tried to unpack the dressing to see the wound after the procedure got frustrated with me because I kept batting his hand away everytime he went to pull the tape off the wound, because it hurt so bad and I was extremely sensitive and jumpy when he went anywhere near the affected area, and I was very apprehensive to having anyone touch it.

This was my reaction, but it was not my intention to be uncooperative so I wanted to warn the ER physician about my behavior during the last procedure so that he wouldn't be offended as the last physician seemed to be. He medicated me with 4 mg of morphine Intraveneously (which is much stronger than when they gave it to me the last time; intramuscularly) according to my medical record on that day, I was also given an ADDITIONAL 4mg dose of morphine IV Push & Phenegran 25mg IV Push. The physician began the procedure, and I didn't feel that he numbed the area very sufficiently enough, because i could feel everything that he was doing!

This was the only way the previous Dr was able to get the proceedure done,
it is just too painful to poke around on a MRSA infected area without sufficiently numbing it, but this Dr had not done so at all I didn't think, and it's nowhere in my chart that he had administered any kind of Analgesic or Anesthetic. He wiped the area clean with betadine and even that was painful to the touch. I remember coiling back with resistance and was extremely apprehensive about letting him continue, wanting him to make sure I wasn't able to feel the pain I was feeling when he attempted to incise.The Dr became impatient with me and seemed to be irritated by my reactions, He told me I was being uncooperative and that I was hindering him from administer treatment approprietly. He's an ER DOCTOR!!! he should expect and be used to patients , especially children that would behave simularly! Although it was excruciating, I grimaced & tried to allow him to proceed, but the minute he began to incise again my reflexes responded by resisting again, I could not help it and I was crying, telling him that it hurt.

He just abrubtly stopped, got up, and made a gesture with his hands up in the air and said, "That's it! I'm done, I'm not going to treat you if you cannot cooperate"

You have to understand my threshold for pain is extremely low and my tolerance is almost zero when it comes to this procedure ( i have been to the hospital 8 times in the past 11 months because of this infection and I have come to dread it but I know it has to be done and usually get through it but it is not easy.) so being told I was not going to be treated is not at all what i wanted to hear, I wanted him to treat me but not in the mannor he was going about it. I wanted him to minimize the pain and discomfort by numbing it and if he had done so, I wouldn't have been responded the way I that I had
(I have this same problem at the dentist, it takes alot of novacane before I am unable to feel him working on my teeth, so the dentist takes the extra measure in ensuring that i am completely numb before he proceeds or I can't sit still and become very apprehensive) but as i tried to explain this to him, and convince him to please continue - because i needed the treatment badly, he would not even listen. I told him that the morphine was not blocking out the pain like an anestetic and that was why I was having difficulty cooperating, but he just continued walking out of the room telling me, "were done ok, you're outta here" Then i heard him say to the nurse, "get an AMA-have her sign it- and discharge her."

A nurse returned with a clipboard and a pen and presented it to me and told me to sign it... I was very lethargic but i knew i did not want to sign it, I was upset - wanted to be treated, it was painful and I was desperate for relief, I did not want to leave that hospital with this infected area still in the same condition as it was when I arrived, and as i tried explaining this to her, the Dr comes back over and said, "She doesn't want to cooperate, that's it- I'm not gonna treat her, she can go to another hospital; let them deal with her, make sure she signs an AMA"

At NO point did he ever explain to me any reprecussions of signing an AMA, he just assured that i sign it, I was looped from the morphine, but i was aware and alert to some degree, i remember i could barely even hold the pen, trying to sign this thing, reluctantly... so the nurse actually took my right hand with the pen in it, and helped guide my hand as i attempted to sign my signature, which i can guarantee you, compared to what my actual signature looks like, i'll bet the signature on the AMA form looks nothing like my usual signature, and is probably nothing more than chicken scratch. I'm certain they have hospital surveillance video that will show this nurse guiding my hand to sign it. To be perfectly honest, I felt like I was being forced to sign it, against my will.

After they got somewhat of a signature on the form, a male nurse returned to give me and gave me a shot of Narcan, which is supposed reverse the narcotic affects of morphine, but only when equal amounts of Narcan to Morphine are given. It don't know if it also reverses the narcotic effect of Vicodin. Now since two 4mg doses of morphine were given, totalling 8mg;
an equal 8mg dose of narcan should've been given in order for the reversal to be effective, otherwise the narcan affect will be short and minimal and soon after the narcotic effect will return (this is what my regular doctor told me). According to my medical record only 4mg of Narcan were given, which initially can make the patient alert but only for a short duration of time, if there was more morphine on board than narcan given, which was the case. Also, from what I have read up on, when Narcan is given to reverse the effects of morphine, the patient is supposed to be monitored for a short time before released to make sure they are fully oriented, this seemed to be a well known factor and that the effects of morphine will come back shortly if the dose of Narcan was not enough to be effective, but this Dr. actually had the staff escort me out of the ER!! right after the Narcan was administered!, without even waiting to see if the Narcan was effective. soon enough, about 2 blocks down the road, I would find that out, and I was on the street, staggering around, lost, confused, and my sense of direction had been completely distorted, basically the hospital doors opened and I was thrown to the wolves.

When I first got there, before administering any of the narcotics, I was asked If i was driving, and i said no, that i had gotten dropped off and would need to call for my ride to come & pick me up when i am released. But As i was being escorted to the exit I asked if I could call for my ride and they said that there were payphones outside. They didnt even bother to call my ride for me or to make sure I even had a ride before letting me walk out of there. I used to work at a hospital as a registry supplemental staff member and I have even worked at this one, and anytime a patient is discharged that has been given any kind of mind altering drug, especially narcotics, we make sure they have transportation and even have them have a seat in the waiting room until their ride gets there. This IS hospital protocol. we will not let a patient leave without a ride if given narcotics, we offer to call someone for them, or call them a cab, but we never let a patient leave on narcotics without transportation. This hospital allowed me to walk out of there with no ride, and even declined my request to call for one, telling me, "there are payphones outside" well, what if i didn't have any change to use a payphone ? it didn't matter that there was a payphone outside, because massive construction was going on right in front of the ER, and i'll be darned if i could find any payphone...

Anyway, with not many options to choose from, I began to walk in the general direction of where i believed my neighborhood to be, tripping and staggering the entire time, i began to grow concerned for my safety, walking down a busy street didn't seem like a good idea, plus I didn't want anyone driving past me to see me in this condition it was only 11 O'clock in the morning and I was looking like I was drunk and wasted. I was worried and embarrassed to run into anybody i may know, i didn't want anybody to see me like this, i was now feeling the full effects of the morphine again, and i could barely walk, and would soon find out I could barely even talk either, i just slurred my words when I later attempted to- I didnt make any sense when a car pulled up beside me and asked me "if i was ok and did i need any help?" even though i did, very badly, I was reluctant to accept it because he was a stranger & if I got into his car, I would be completely vulnerable to someone who may have had other motives besides just trying to help me.

After that encounter, I realized i had better get off of the street so that all kinds of people wouldn't be pulling over to offer help or better yet, have a police officer spot me and think i was drunk and get taken to jail or something so i started to walk behind the buildings of business's that were on this busy street i was walking down, at least this way i was somewhat obscured, and that took away some of the humiliation i was feeling of having to be subjected to being in public in this condition. At some point the effects of the morphine were more than I could handle and I felt extremely unstable, and my gait was very unsteady- I remember pulling on the handle of this back door of a local business because I was trying to go in and ask them for help, to call my roommate and have them come pick me up but the door would not open and all i remmember was feeling super lethargic like I was going to fall asleep any minute, I was actually nodding off while standing up against the back of the building and i guess I eventually did fall asleep back there because i was found by another motorist who saw me from the street, leaning up against the back of a building asleep! he pulled back there and kinda startled me, he yelled out, "Hey!!" I woke up and jumped, "are you alright? do you need a ride somewhere?" groggy and practically hallucinating, i tried to respond verbally but all that came out was a bunch of garbled, slurred speech that neither one of us could understand...
I manged to just wave my hand and to get the word "No" out... I do remember him looking very concerned, like he felt uncomfortable to just leave me there in that condition, and i thought he was going to maybe call the police so i started to try to walk again and try to make it home but I came accross many obstacles just trying to get accross the steet.

It took me hours just to get 3 blocks and in the distance I remember seeing a Walgreens, where I somewhat quickly tried to get over to, but was it was a major challenge trying to get accross the 2 busy streets and an island in the middle of them, i felt like i was in that game frogger! I didn't have sense enough to use the crosswalk because i was not of sound mind by any degree, so common sense had virtually left me and I had no concept of any kind of sense at all, common or otherwise. By the time I finally got to Walgreens, I was so parched and thirsty so i went in and got a bottle of orange soda. I took it up to the register to pay for it and asked them if i could please use their phone to call my roommate for a ride, i must've been staggering around the store for sometime while they observed this, then when i opened my mouth to ask to use the phone they had no idea what i was saying, I was slurring so bad (i would find this out later after talking to the the Walgreens Manager the next day) I eventually conveyed to them that i needed to use the phone and they put the phone up on the counter and as i tried to push the buttons, they asked "do you want us to dial the number for you?" this i barely remember, but after talking to them the next day they said i was so messed up and staggering around that they thought i was high on heroine, they said i couldnt even navigate around the telephone keypad, or even push the buttons so they dialed the number for me after they made out the number i was telling them to call. My speech was so badly impaired that when my roommate answered the phone they had to get on the phone for me because he was unable to understand what I was saying,

After slurring the words "Thank You" to the girls in walgreens for helping me, I staggered out of the store and had a seat on a bench out in front waiting for my roomate to pull up when all of a sudden 4 police cars and the fire dept come pulling up! The girls in Walgreens called them after I left the store because they were concerned for my safety because they said when i turned around to walk out, they observed a syringe sticking out of my arm!! later on the next day when i spoke to the Walgreens manager and they told me this, I said, "it must've been the IV in my arm, and she adamently said, "NO! i'm a nursing student, i know where IV's go, this is not where we saw the syringe in your arm, it was sticking out of the back side of your upper right arm"
"What??? are you SURE ? i asked... and she even confirmed it with her colleague, I heard her call out "Jennifer, remember the girl that was in here yesterday with the syringe sticking out of her arm,?" and I heard the girl reply "yeah," "wasn't there a syringe sticking out of the top of her upper right arm?" "yea , i remember" the other girl replied... I cant remember what exactly the police had to say about this, all i know is that they kept trying to convince me to let their paramedics and fire dept check me out and make sure i was ok, I told them I just wanted to go home and that i didnt feel good, i was exhausted and in alot of pain, and was just released from the hospital. The officer looked at my arm bands and noticed a bloody gauze dressing soaked and blood running down my arm, and he said, "why dont you just hop up into the truck and let the fire dept make sure youre ok," I was traumatized, i didnt want anymore people jabbing around on me, i was angry that the hospital had refused to treat me and that they basically kicked me out without calling for my ride, so i had had it with the medical people for the moment and didn't want to take it out on the innocent firemen that were just wanting to help, so i politely declined, although the officer had to ask me a couple times what i just said due to my speech impediement, so finally taking no for an answer, the officer took down both mine and my roommates names, (so there is a record of this as well as a recording of the 911 call Walgreens made), the officer told my roommate that i didnt look good and that he should take me in to the County Hospital...My roommate said if i wanted to go, or if i got worse he would take me but right now "she just wants me to take her home so she can lay down" The Officer finally allowed us to leave and we went home. I must've went directly to bed when i got home and I didn't wake up til the next afternoon. when I finally woke up I immediately wondered what had happened, i didn't remember how I got home but i did notice a yellowish stain in my groin area surrounding the affected area and that the boil had been partially lanced. I then looked up at my nightstand and noticed a bottle of orange soda, which i found odd because i never drink orange soda, but it doesn't surprize me that i would buy something off the wall, if i werent in my right mind when i bought it... next to the bottle was a recepit from Walgreens and the time on the receipt stated 1:45 pm, hmmm, details as to what happened at the hospital were somewhat vague so i called the hospital to ask the nurse that was working yesterday, and she told me that i was not treated and left there at 11:00 am...

SO, my concern is, where was i for 3 hours? or 2 hours and 45 minutes? because The hospital is just 2 blocks down from Walgreens on the same street , and being in the frame of mind that I was in.... WHAT could i have possibly been doing? for THAT long? I'm not exactly sure, but bits and peices and flashbacks keep coming back to me, i have nightmares now, and im beginning to wonder if a not so nice guy could've stopped to "help" me, but instead helped himself, if you know what i mean... i immediatly filed a complaint with the hospital administration and as I stated earlier I received a 3 page letter of apology and that the incident is being investigated. In the letter they go on to admit, "That although Banner Desert has specific resorces available to assist with and provide transportation to patients with transportation needs after discharge, I regret that we failed to provide this service and that your need for transportation was not met."
To me, RIGHT THERE is NEGLIGANCE. That, and the fact that the Dr failed to give me the correct dose of Narcan to reverse the effects of morphine and escorting me out the doors without even knowing or casring how I was to get home. he didnt wait to see if the narcan dose was effective, which it was not, but they should've called my ride for me and allowed me to wait there until my ride picked me up, but none of that was done, not even when i requested a call for transportation, instead i was told, "payphones are outside"

Besides the 3 page letter from the hospital Administrator, I also have in my possession, my medical record of this visit, and it is full of contradicitions and the Dr made statements that do not coincide with one another.

One last thing is that I found this statement while searching for information on how to proceed with a case that involved me signing an AMA and was shocked when I read this:

"Since patients are admitted voluntarily to a general hospital, a discharge against medical advice is merely a withdrawal of the original consent. All competent adults possess the autonomy to make this decision. However, physicians and medical authorities have a responsibility to ensure, before discharging against medical advice, that: (1) the patient's withdrawal of consent is fully informed with respect to risks and alternatives; (2) the patient possesses the mental competency to make a reasoned decision on the basis of adequate information; and (3) the patient does not meet the state standard for involuntary psychiatric hospitalization. Discharging against medical advice without documentation that the physician conscientiously addressed these 3 issues will leave the physician and the hospital authorities legally unprotected in the event of an adverse consequence."


Now, let me just add that I am under phychiatric care because I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from a violent attack against me, in an attempted rape in 1999, which I suffer negative repreccussions from, such as worry and fear, afraid to be alone at night, etc... and hypervigilence , (NOT paranoia) in fear that it might happen again, etc... it was disruptive in my ability to go on about my life and started to interfere with daily living, so I sought treatment for it, Now, this hospital knows that i am under phychiatric care, because just months prior to this happening, My Phychiatrist from Desert BEHAVIORAL health, contacted them with a signed consent from me to obtain my medical records and he had also contacted them again about some bloodwork I had done there so they know I am under phychiatric care, but the Dr. did not even bother to check to see if i were mentally stable to make my own medical decisions and refuse medical treatment (which I did not refuse, but the AMA would idicate that I had) because if he did, he would've found this from the Maricopa County Superior Court:


THE COURT FINDS that the patient (Name Witheld) is incompetent to refuse medical treatment including medication, or make any medical decisions regarding treatment and should be subject to involuntary treatment pursuant to A.R.S. §§ 13-4511 and 13-4512(B)

My competency is medication dependent since I suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and I am under observation to ensure my medication is being taken. I'm not incompetent to the degree that I am not intelligent. I have a good fund of knowledge and my IQ is above average, so please do not think I am someone who isn't in their right mind, because I assure you that is not the case.

I am concerned about the statute of limitiations on a case such as this, although it just occured in late February, I have not been successful in retaining an attorney that is familiar with AMA's. This is a liability on the hospital and/or the physician for being negligent about the criteria that should be met before discharging a patient AMA.

All Atty's I have contacted thus far, all agree that I have a case, and that I should waste no time pursuing it, however, none are willing to take the case, and that has me baffled... Do you have any suggestions or advice on how to proceed at this point?

Thank You For taking the time to read such a lengthly post and I truely appreciate any help or information I can get!


Responses From Attorneys:

1st Atty:

"I'm sorry ****, but I must respectfully decline representation. But I advise you to seek counsel elsewhere as soon as possible."


2nd Atty:

"Thank you for your e-mail.

Please give me a few days to review the material you provided. I will get back with you next week to advise you if we can help, or with a referral to another attorney that may be able to help you."

Ms. ******-

Thank you for your inquiry last week. This is typically not the type of case we handle, and unfortunately we will not be able to represent you.

I urge you to have your potential case reviewed by another attorney as soon as possible, although I cannot recommend anyone to you at this time, Please keep in mind that certain statutes of limitations apply to cases such as this, so you should contact an attorney in the near future to make sure you determine what type of claim you wish to assert, and what the applicable statute of limitations would be.

Thank you again for your e-mail. If we may be of service to you in the future to review any other matters, please do not hesitate to contact us."


The 3rd Atty contacted me by phone yesterday to tell me that she believed
it was a civil rights violation more than it was Negligence, but after talking with her about me not being able to refuse medical treatment, and how the criteria for discharging me AMA was ignored she agreed to look into it further,
but told me that she would send me a letter in the mail if she wasn't able to take the case, and possibly include some referrals, but I got the impression that she may have just not wanted to take the case and just told me that to get off the phone or something... I mean, am I the only one here that sees that this treatment was wrong? AM I CRAZY for thinking I even have a case here? My intelligence and the fact that I myself worked as a health care professional tells me that everything about this just isn't right....

Thanks Again for any help you may be able to offer....
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Old May 29th, 2008, 04:11 AM   #2
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Angry Re: drugged up with morphine & then told to leave hospital & Dr refused to treat me!

Also, here is what the Doctor wrote in my chart pertaining to this matter,
this is written verbatim:

" I discussed with the patient the need for I&D of the abscess and she consented and requested that she be sedated and that is when morphine was
admistered. As I began the procedure the patient became uncooperative. She blamed her lack of cooperation on the fact that she was given morphine.
Because of that I have given her Narcan 4 mg IV push and now she is awake.
I ahd another discussion with her and she still was not cooperating with the procedure. I have advised her that I am unable to do the procedure if she is unable to cooperate because of the danger of causing her further injury and also the danger of contaminating myself or the nurse and other personnel during the procedure. She is still uncooperative and she got angry and left the ER on her own against medical advice.

I have advised her to return here if she changes her mind and wants to undergo I&D or alternatively can also go to another hospital and consult another physician to do the I&D, but I have made it very clear to her that she does need an I&D of the abscess otherwise, she is risking further infection, sepsis and complications including death."


HE NEVER WARNED ME ABOUT THE POSSIBILTY OF DEATH OR ANY DANGER FOR THAT MATTER, there's NO WAY I wouldve even left at all, even though he was refusing to treat me, if that man told me i could possibly die, I wouldve refused to leave!!

** what doesn't make sense to me is the chronilogical order of the events
as he has listed them... 1st he states that I got angry and left the ER on my own against medical advice... then proceeds to go on and say he then advised me to return id I change my mind.... how can he go on to say this to me if according to him, I have already left? it just seems to me that he is lying, because when events didnt actually occur, and one is lying about how something went down, usually the details will appear to not fit as in thie case here, because if they really didnt happen, then ones account of how it happened would be somewhat inconsistant or out of order. This happens when people make false claims, and they don't even realize that what they just said doesn't fit. He does this more than once in the medical report, before he even mentions giving me any morphine at all, he says, "The patient
was given clindamycin 900 mg IV piggyback and Vicodin 2 tablets p.o.
The patient appears more comfortable. An IV of normal saline was established. The patient was given "additional" morphine of 4 mg IV push. Reevaluation shows that she is comfortable. (ADDITIONAL ??) nowhere does it even state when the 1st dose was given. But as the report continues it states "Before she received the morphine I discussed with her the need for I&D of the abscess and she requested that she be sedated and that is when she received the morphine"

usually a Dr will document any "additional" doses of medication after the first
dose is documented. But he documents the "additional" dose 1st and then documents the initial dose after receiving the additional dose. The whole
chart looks like he was just writing events as he was thinking about them, or as he thought them up and not how they actually occured.

Just thought that this was noteworthy.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 05:00 PM   #3
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Default Re: drugged up with morphine & then told to leave hospital & Dr refused to treat me!

A couple issues :

first terminology:

1) the use of the word "additional" in reference to the morphine is related to the morphine being in addition to the vicodin - both are similar narcotics.
2) left against medical advice - is a very specific term used by medical professionals. It doesn't mean that you ran out the door instantly. It means that you decided to leave even after the doctor said it wasn't recommended - it does not say that the doctor/nurses didn't talk to you before you physically left.

No matter what happened, I think you are going to have a couple issues with a successful case.

1) not compentant to consent to treatment; per your statement, you said that you had found to not be able to consent to treatment and yet you went into the ER for treatment. You might have a problem with that in a malpractice case - if you knew you could not consent then it makes you seem irrational and that bolsters the ER's story of being combative. I know hindsight is 20/20 but if you cannot consent to treatment, you really need to bring someone in who can. Also - how would the ER know that? They see thousands of people and most of the time do not have the time to look up a past history - even if they have an electronic medical record which a lot of ER's do not.

2) If you have a history of physically attacking a doctor, it also hurts your case "batting his hand" - the previous doctor "being offended". All people have the right not to be physically assaulted as they do they jobs. And if you were physically uncooperative - the doctor may have decided not to proceed. And if you cannot control your response, you cannot expect them to physically hold you down. You requested sedation and were given medication to relieve pain (analgesic).

3) Finally, and this is where I think your biggest problem is, you say that you didn't know what was going on, were falling down and stumbling and lost time yet you are pretty detailed in everything that happened from the moment you entered the ER. But if you were that sedated, you shouldn't have very much details from the entire night.

I don't know what happened and I am sorry you were traumatized and it seems like an awful experience. But you are going to go up against the staff at the ER in a situation where you yourself claim that you were highly sedated and don't remember clearly. Couldn't some of your memories and reactions be caused by the PTSD?

I think it will be very difficult to find a lawyer to take this case.

Good luck.
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Old Jun 9th, 2008, 10:08 PM   #4
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Confused Re: drugged up with morphine & then told to leave hospital & Dr refused to treat me!

Hi, thanks for the input i appreciate it. I know when your reading it, it appears that i have recollected everything to a T, but what i am saying is, AT THE TIME, while on morphine, I WAS very incoherent, it was hard to walk, talk, but i knew things were happening as they were happening, and i knew my state of mind was not sound, but the only part i have said that i do not remember , is that 3 hour block of time... that is completely absent from my memory. When i said i was "out of it" i still was able to walk to a certain degree, i was able to make my needs be known through communication even if it was not verbal, so obviously i was able to be aware to some degree. people have said they were drunk, but still knew what happened the next day, but it was a bit cloudy... well, comparable to that... i could remember, but it was a bit cloudy... however... things come back to you...maybe not right away, as you can see, this was a couple of months ago... but it has come back to me, and by talking to the walgreens employees and the others, i was able to find out exactly what they knew, which also triggered my memory and helped me peice things together.

I never once said that i am NOT ABLE TO CONSENT to treatment, that statement is ludicris... if you look at what i wrote, it says,

"THE COURT FINDS that the patient (Name Witheld) is incompetent to refuse medical treatment including medication..."

i AM able to consent to treatment, however.... i AM NOT ABLE TO REFUSE IT.

and why would they have such criteria in place in order for a Dr. to FIRST be able to discharge AMA, if they weren't FIRST required to meet that criteria:

""Since patients are admitted voluntarily to a general hospital, a discharge against medical advice is merely a withdrawal of the original consent. All competent adults possess the autonomy to make this decision. However, physicians and medical authorities have a responsibility to ensure, before discharging against medical advice, that: (1) the patient's withdrawal of consent is fully informed with respect to risks and alternatives; (2) the patient possesses the mental competency to make a reasoned decision on the basis of adequate information; and (3) the patient does not meet the state standard for involuntary psychiatric hospitalization. Discharging against medical advice without documentation that the physician conscientiously addressed these 3 issues will leave the physician and the hospital authorities legally unprotected in the event of an adverse consequence."


Those are not MY words, but that IS the law. And since statistics say only ONE in every 600,000 patients sign themselves out AMA, when someone DOES actually do it, since there seems to be a huge liability on the Dr if he doesnt get a patient to sign a form, you'd think any pt signing out this way would raise a huge flag to the doctor to cover his ass, and make sure all bases are covered, knowing that the signed release wouldn't have any merit to it whatsoever if he first didn't follow the criteria for being able to discharge a Pt AMA... so yes, ER's are busy, and i'm sure it's a pain in the ass for them to stop and check a patients history... however.... AMA's are so rare, and unusual, that i would think they dont do it very often, so it really shouldnt be that big of an inconvenience .... that should make it even more the reason for checking the background before releasing them.

COMBATIVE? wow, you are misquoting me the whole way through... I think the word i used was uncooperative. Batting AT something, doesnt mean I physically batted someone. It was not at all a violent situation as you are depicting it to be... it's a natural reflex... if someone takes a rubberband and stretches it as if they are going to shoot it at you and its aimed right at your face, as hard as you may try not to... you WILL flinch. Try it. You will flinch, it's a reflex... and usually reflexes are done without any assistance or effort on the persons behalf...as when a Dr. checks a patients reflex by tapping a hammer like tool against their knee cap... the leg automatically, without any will from the patient swings upward... its a reflex, hence- done involuntarily.

Your perception of me being combative simply because my relexes responded to pain involuntarily is not the same as if i willfully and voluntarily smacked the Dr on purpose... similar to NOT guilty by reason of insanity, although the defendant did INFACT perform an illegal act... he is not held accountable because technically he could not be held responsible for his actions.

Feel free to critique my response, however, i would appreciate it if you would not misquote me, and put words into my mouth. I do know that i came here and asked for advice, and i welcome any response even if it is not one i particularly want to hear, that is fine...i AM looking for the things that would make my case invalid, so i am inviting those to point such things out, however, what i do not expect is for someone to rearrange the way i said things happened, and use specific words, that i specifically did not use.

Obviously , I have rebuttled each one of the things you allege I said, that would supposedly make my case invalid. So if you can re-evaluate what i said happened , now that i have corrected what you alleged i had said or did, i would be interested in hearing your response.

I appreciate your time and effort and please don't take it offense to my response, it is not my intention to offend you.

Thank You
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Old Aug 23rd, 2008, 07:55 AM   #5
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Default Re: drugged up with morphine & then told to leave hospital & Dr refused to treat me!

Hi, I think that you do have a case and the hospital admitted liability.

I don't live in America but there must be some body governing lawyers such as a law society where you could get a referral to a firm that specialises in medical law and they will be able to advice you.

My best advice is to state your material facts when you first consult with the lawyer and then you can go into details later.

I think the Dr was definitely rude and it would have been a traumatic experience for you. I am sorry it happened.

I think that forcing you to sign an AMA while you were drugged and in pain and suffering is malpractice and so is not arranging transportation for you.

The fact that he did not warn you of the consquences of refusing treatment is also malpractice.

Whether they should have made you an involuntary patient or not is not an issue. You were inadequately treated.

Just because you were screaming in pain and a difficult patient does not give him the right to refuse you treatment. You did not specifically say "I refuse treatment". There are plenty of people who enter the ER who are violent (Im not saying your were) due to drug/alcohol consumption and are treated.

The question is did the Dr do what a reasonable dr would do in the circumstances (the Bolam principle) and whether his treatment fell short of the standard of a reasonable ER doctor.

The hospitals defence lawyers would have to get a body of doctors to testify that they would have done the same in the doctors position.

My suggestion to you is to look for law firms that take on medical cases and have them explain to you your reasonable prospects of success and the reasons. Even if you have to pay for the first consultation, at least you will get peace of mind.

Let me know how it goes and once again I am so sorry at the way you were treated.

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Old Aug 23rd, 2008, 11:14 AM   #6
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Default Re: drugged up with morphine & then told to leave hospital & Dr refused to treat me!

I wish you luck, I read this lengthy description and will follow it. Had a similar problem but not as bad, This sounds terrible!



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Old Aug 18th, 2009, 11:42 AM   #7
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Thumbs Up Re: drugged up with morphine & then told to leave hospital & Dr refused to treat me!

Hi Ya'll...

thanks for your replies. I have brought this case to small claims court and I am civillay sueing this Dr.
I have obtained reports from the responding police officers and fire dept. I have the walgreens staff and manager who were working that day and called the poice for a welfare check on my witness list, as well as the police officers and firemen. I put an ad in the paper to try to locate the motorist who stopped to help me and I actually found him, he will also tesify on my behalf. Lastly, I have the court documents that declare me incompetent to refuse medical care or medication.

I think I have this one in the bag.

I'll keep you posted.

Thanks again for your input and following this post.

Sincerely,
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