HLT 520 Week 2 Grand Canyon University Week 2 Respondeat Superior Paper
HLT 520 GCU Week 2 Respondeat Superior Sample Paper
Scenario: A patient had surgery and the nurse-anesthetist administered the anesthesia. The patient subsequently arrested and died while under anesthesia. An investigation concluded that the patient was not receiving the needed amount of oxygen and the nurse-anesthetist missed the changes in the vital signs until the patient was close to cardiac arrest. The surgeon initially had assisted in positioning the patient and had helped to administer some of the initial anesthetic.
HLT 520 Week 2 Respondeat Superior Paper
1) Write an analysis (750-1,000 words) of the situation and argue whether the doctrine of “respondeat superior” would cause the surgeon to have vicarious liability for the patient’s death:
2) Prepare this assignment according to the APA guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.
3) This assignment uses a grading rubric. Instructors will be using the rubric to grade the assignment; therefore, students should review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the assignment criteria and expectations for successful completion of the assignment.
|HLT 520 Week 2 Respondeat Superior Paper rubric|
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HLT 520 Grand Canyon University Week 2 Respondeat Superior Sample Paper
Paper type: Term Paper
Course Level: Master
Subject Area: Nursing
# Pages: 4
In many criminal cases, those who face lawsuit are normally the actual perpetrators. However, there are certain instances when employers can be held responsible for the wrongful acts committed by their employees. Therefore, employing organizations are expected to have a comprehensive understanding of the events and circumstances that can result in their arrest even if they are not directly involved in specific unlawful behaviors. According to Thornton (2010), many healthcare professionals get confused if they realize that they are to face liability claims for their subordinates’ unacceptable conducts. The main reason why such confusions occur is that the providers lack an understanding of the concept of vicarious liability. This paper explores the theory of “respondeat superior” and explains how it applies in a case involving a wrongful act by a nurse-anesthetist. Based on the events of the scenario, the surgeon should have ‘vicarious liability’ for the patient’s demise under the doctrine of “respondeat superior.”
In the given scenario, a nurse-anesthetist has just administered anesthesia to a patient who has had surgery. Unfortunately, the client has suffered cardiac arrest while under the anesthesia leading to his death. A comprehensive assessment of the issue has revealed that the nurse-anesthetist did not supply the client with sufficient amount of oxygen. Moreover, the patient has succumbed to the health condition because the nurse has failed to identify vital signs of the cardiac arrest early enough. This has prevented her from taking the right actions to prevent the patient’s death. It is reported in the case that the surgeon had initially helped the nurse to position the client to facilitate the proper administration of the anesthesia. The creed of “respondeat superior” would cause the medical doctor to have vicarious liability for the client’s passing due to two major reasons. First, the nurse-anesthetist was actually working on behalf of the surgeon when the death occurred. Second, the death resulted from an act that the nurse-anesthetist would ordinarily do if he or she continued to deliver similar services in future on behalf of the surgeon (Rottenstein Law Group, 2014).
One must first possess an adequate knowledge of the concept of vicarious liability and the doctrine of “respondeat superior” in order to develop an understanding of why the surgeon would be held liable for the patient’s death. According to West Consulting Services (2016), vicarious liability is a form of indirect accountability where an allegation is imposed on the employer for an illegal conduct performed by his or her agent. The liability is only executable if there is a working relationship between the employee and his or her employer. However, the rule also applies when a third party is charged with the responsibility of controlling or supervising the activities of the negligent worker. As Thornton (2010) explains, the main distinguishing feature of vicarious liability is that it can be executed even if the principal is not directly involved in the unlawful behavior that may be causing tension at any given time. One of the theories that can best be used to explain the principle of vicarious liability is “respondeat superior.”
The doctrine of “respondeat superior” holds that a principal should be liable for the negligent behaviors of a worker who is serving within the scope of his career. Essentially, the employer must not be directly involved in the act in question for the decree under discussion to apply. According to Regan and Regan (2002), whenever an employee is caught in a wrongful act under “respondeat superior,” it is always irrelevant to consider the fact that the employing organization might have taken the right steps to hire, train, supervise, and retain the employee. The underlying foundation of the rule states that the company should bear a wrongful act by a member of staff. In order to make a ruling under the doctrine in question, the complainant must establish that there is a close relationship between an employer and the negligent employee. Moreover, a right of control must exist for the presence of such a relationship to be confirmed. Ideally, whenever an issue arises, the plaintiff must prove that the employer was charged with the responsibility of controlling the activities of his or her employee (Regan and Regan, 2002).
HLT 520 GCU Week 2 Respondeat Superior Paper
The nature of the ethical dilemma in the given scenario will determine whether the surgeon would be held liable for the patient’s death under the doctrine of “respondeat superior.” There are two predicaments in the case that should be solved based on the terms of the mentioned rule. First, does the surgeon has a “right of control” over the actions of the nurse anesthetist? Second, did the death occur due to an action that the nurse would ordinarily perform when left to serve under the surgeon in a similar situation in future? These two ethical issues form the basis of the ruling as to whether the doctrine of “respondeat superior” applies in the case.
Considering the events of the scenario, the surgeon should have ‘vicarious liability’ for the patient’s demise under the doctrine of “respondeat superior.” One of the reasons is that the nurse-anesthetist was actually working on behalf of the surgeon when the death occurred. Therefore, the surgeon had a right of control over his or her actions. As Thornton (2010) explains, the doctrine of “respondeat superior” is applicable when the injury in question was caused by a negligent employee while he was acting under the supervision of an expert or an employer. In the given case, the nurse anesthetist administered the anesthesia on behalf of the surgeon. This means that the surgeon had the “right of control” over the nurse’s actions. For instance, he or she is charged with the responsibility of supervising the activities of the nurse anesthetist. In that regard, the surgeon should have vicarious liability for the patient’s demise because he failed to supervise the nurse’s actions as required (Regan and Regan, 2002).
Moreover, the death of the patient occurred due to an action that the nurse would ordinarily perform when left to serve under the surgeon in a similar situation in future. Such an observation has been made because the nurse anesthetist administered an inadequate amount of oxygen and had failed to notice changes in vital signs up to the time when the patient was close to cardiac arrest. According to Regan and Regan (2002), the doctrine of “respondeat superior” can only be executed if the injury in question was caused by a negligent employee who would ordinarily perform such wrongful acts under a similar situation in future. In the presented case, the nurse anesthetist would still miss the changes in vital signs if he or she is allowed to deliver care to a similar patient in future. The reason is that the medical doctor, who acts as the supervisor, will still fail to offer the correct direction. Therefore, the surgeon should have vicarious liability for the patient’s demise under the principles of “respondeat superior.”
In summary, healthcare organizations and their principal managers should understand that they can have vicarious liability as defined by the theory of “respondeat superior.” The doctrine holds that a principal should be liable for the negligent behaviors of a worker who is serving within the scope of his career. Essentially, employers in the healthcare industry must ensure that they supervise the activities of their subordinates to maximize compliance and patient safety and to avoid facing the lawsuit. See also Hlt 520 Law Suit Recommendation Paper
References: HLT 520 Grand Canyon University Week 2 Respondeat Superior Sample Paper
Regan, J. J., & Regan, W. M. (2002). Medical malpractice and respondeat superior. Southern Medical Journal, 95(5), 545-8.
Rottenstein Law Group. (2014). What is “respondeat superior?” Retrieved from http://www.rotlaw.com/legal-library/what-is-respondeat-superior/
Thornton, R. (2010). Responsibility for the acts of others. Proceedings (Baylor University Medical Center), 23(3), 313-315.
West Consulting Services. (2016). Vicarious liability: Is it an issue for your organization? Journal for Healthcare Risk Management, 36(1), 25-34. doi: 10.1002/jhrm.21232.