EMTALA and liability

An opinion from a new medblog, House of Caduceus:

So, we as ED physicians and the hospitals that house us, are forced by law to see and treat patients who can’t pay for services, and then are still liable for litigation by those patients when there is a bad outcome. I’m sorry, but if I am to be forced by the government to see and treat you, than the government should be liable, not me. Better yet, don’t sue, be thankful your even getting care, and stop being a drain on society.

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  • Anonymous

    Jesus Christ. I read this poor bastard’s blog. BURN OUT. He hates everybody. Poor people, crazy people, drug addicts, promiscuous women, hypochondriacs, people who do “scut work.”

    Who the hell did he think he’d be treating in an E.R.? Other doctors?

  • Anonymous

    Funny, I never see any of these bleeding heart bloggers volunteering in the emergency room, or taking the homeless to a shelter, or wiping the vomit off a drunk, or cleaning the shit pan of a nursing home patient.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve never seen doctors do those things either. Those are scut worker jobs.

  • Anonymous

    5:41 You have no idea what people do. if you did you might have to change your opinion.

  • Anonymous

    “Funny, I never see any of these bleeding heart bloggers volunteering in the emergency room, or taking the homeless to a shelter, or wiping the vomit off a drunk, or cleaning the shit pan of a nursing home patient”

    I never see any physicians doing any of those things either. Particularly the last two – I can’t imagine a physician deigning to do what they almost certainly believe is the job of lesser mortals like CNAs.

  • Anonymous

    I have yet to see a volunteer or CNA digitally disimpact 2 months worth of stool from an alzheimers patient, or take a bucket of amnitoic fluid in the face from coke high HIV patient sqeezing out number 9, or trying to find a central line on the HEP C GI bleeder that is flopping around from CPR. We have great scut workers but they don’t do that.

  • Anonymous

    Yet more examples as to why breeding should be a privilege and not a right.

  • Anonymous

    And when you do those things you’re just being a volunteer right? Like when you finsih with doing them for your job that you get “paid” for doing. You scut on over to the county home and hang around waiting to disimpact someone when you’re not being paid just because you wanna?

  • Anonymous

    -there is no billing code for manual fecal disimpaction
    -The HEP C patient more than likely has no insurance
    -The HIV patient either has medicaid or is an illegal alien

    so yeah, it is basically volunteering.

  • Caduceus

    To the comment referring to me as a “poor bastard” I can honestly say that I like my job. Sometimes I even love it. However, just like your job that you like most of the time, there are moments of frustration, anger, apathy. The only difference between you and I, at your job, you probably get mad when the coffee machine is broken…at mine, I’ve been punched in the gut by a demented Alzheimer’s patient, pissed on, shit on, hit in the eye with blood from an AIDS patient and put on prophylactic meds for it, and dealt with far too many patients who think they deserve better care than the homeless guy next to them. But, I’m sure you are none of these, right?

  • Anonymous

    And you get paid well for it. If you don’t like it, quit. Or quit whining.

  • Matthew

    This is accurate, but it’s a symptom of a much larger societal problem. People have been encouraged at all levels to believe that they have “rights” to the labor of others; they have a right to control the environment of private business owners, they have a right to control hiring and firing practices, hell, there’s even been talk of a right to broadband internet access in some cities. Once this floodgate was opened, and it most certainly has been, there’s no reason for anyone to respect the genuine, inherent rights of others to do as they wish with their labor and property. There needs to be a total societal change in how we view and respect the lives of others.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, a gradual extension of the notion of taking, from that of an action by the state, presumably with due process, to that of an action by private persons with the acquiescence of the state but without the same protections.

  • Samson Isberg

    Just thought you might want to know that I thought the Caduceus blog was great. I even linked it. Reflects my own views completely.