Learning Goal: I’m working on a health & medical question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.
1. A negligence action was brought by a mother on behalf of her minor daughter against a hospital. It alleged that when the mother was 13 years of age, the hospital negligently transfused her with Rh-positive blood. The mother’s Rh-negative blood was incompatible with and sensitized by the Rh-positive blood. The mother discovered her condition eight years later during a routine blood screening ordered by her physician in the course of prenatal care. The resulting sensitization of the mother’s blood allegedly caused damage to the fetus, resulting in physical defects and premature birth. Did a patient relationship with the transfusing hospital exist?
2. The plaintiff’s physician received a release of information from the plaintiff to an insurance company following the plaintiff’s application for major medical insurance. The physician released the following information: Enclosed is a summary of Mr. Millsaps’s recent hospitalization. Physically the man has no notable problems; emotionally, the patient is quite mercurial in his moods. He is a strong-willed man obsessed with faults of others in his family, for which there has been no objective basis. He has completely resisted any constructive advice by his wife, family, minister, or myself. The man needs psychiatric help for his severe obsessions and depressions, some of which have suicidal overtones. He is an extremely poor insurance risk. The application for major medical insurance was rejected. Did the physician have a right to release this information to the insurance company?
3. The defendant was executive director of Planned Parenthood. A second defendant was the physician who served as medical director for Planned Parenthood. Both gave information, instruction, and medical advice to married persons about how to prevent conception. The defendants were arrested and found guilty of violating a statute that forbade the use of contraceptives. They then appealed, contending that the statute as applied violated the Fourteenth Amendment. Does a law forbidding the use of contraceptives invade the zone of privacy in violation of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?
4. The New York Legislature passed the New York State Controlled Substances Act of 1971 because of concern about the illegal use of drugs in the state. The act requires that records involving the use of certain prescription drugs be filed by physicians with the New York State Department of Health. These records are kept on computers and include the name and address of patients using the drugs. The concern of the physicians and patients who were plaintiffs was that patients in need of treatment with these drugs would decline treatment for fear of being labeled drug addicts. Was the collection of these records by the state a violation of the patients’ Fourteenth Amendment rights?