Topic 1: Making Decision for Gladys Gwynn’s Surgery
In the given scenario, Gladys Gwynn is unable to speak for herself due to being on pain medication, and she does not have any relatives to assist her. The question arises whether it is appropriate for Dr. Johnstone to make the decision about surgery for her. Additionally, it is speculated that when Gladys moved into Sunny Meadows, she might have signed a Health Care Power of Attorney (POA) to someone at the facility.
When a patient is unable to make medical decisions for themselves, healthcare professionals must follow legal and ethical guidelines to ensure proper care. The concept of surrogate decision-making is often used in such cases, where a designated individual makes decisions on behalf of the patient. The process of determining a surrogate decision-maker involves assessing the patient’s previously expressed wishes or preferences, as well as consulting any legally appointed healthcare proxies or POAs.
Considering Gladys’ situation, it is crucial to determine whether she had executed a POA at Sunny Meadows. A Health Care POA is a legal document that allows an individual (the principal) to appoint someone (the agent) to make healthcare decisions on their behalf. The terms and conditions of the POA, as well as the scope of decision-making authority, should be evaluated to determine if Dr. Johnstone’s decision-making role is appropriate.
If Gladys had signed a Health Care POA designating someone at Sunny Meadows as her agent, then it is potentially appropriate for Dr. Johnstone to consult that individual when making decisions about surgery. However, the specific details of the POA, such as the agent’s authority over medical decisions and the extent to which they must consult with healthcare professionals, should be reviewed. The input of the appointed agent should be valued, but the ultimate decision-making responsibility lies with the healthcare professional, who must consider the best interests of the patient.
If Gladys did not execute a Health Care POA, then Dr. Johnstone must adhere to professional guidelines and ethical principles when making decisions about her surgery. In such cases, healthcare professionals often engage in discussions with a multi-disciplinary team, considering available medical information and expert opinions. The decision-making process should also involve respecting the patient’s autonomy, wishes, and values to the extent known.
Topic 2: Responsibility for the Accident Involving Sheri Smith
The second topic revolves around the responsibility for the accident involving Sheri Smith, who was assisting Mrs. Gwynn at Sunny Meadows. It is questioned whether Sheri should be held responsible for the accident and whether the facility itself should bear any responsibility as Sheri is an employee of Sunny Meadows.
Determining responsibility in a workplace accident involves a careful analysis of the circumstances surrounding the incident, including the actions and responsibilities of the parties involved. In this case, Sheri’s role as an employee of Sunny Meadows may have implications for liability, as the actions of employees can often be attributed to their employer under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior, which holds employers responsible for the actions of their employees during the course of their employment.
To assess Sheri’s responsibility, it is necessary to establish whether her actions or omissions directly contributed to the accident. Factors such as negligence, recklessness, or failure to adhere to established safety protocols should be considered. If it can be proven that Sheri acted negligently or failed to fulfill her duties, she may be held partially or fully responsible for the accident.
However, the responsibility of Sunny Meadows as the employer also needs to be evaluated. The facility has a duty to ensure a safe working environment for its employees and to provide proper training and supervision. If it can be demonstrated that the accident was a result of a systemic failure or the facility’s negligence in fulfilling their duty of care, then Sunny Meadows may be held responsible, either partially or entirely, for the accident.
Overall, determining liability in cases like this requires a careful assessment of the specific facts and circumstances surrounding the accident, including the actions of the individuals involved and any negligence or failure in duty of care on the part of the employer. Consequently, a thorough investigation should be conducted to ascertain the responsibility for the accident involving Sheri Smith.