Whether or not a parent may maintain a cause of action against a negligent healthcare provider for the death of a fetus generally depends on the laws of the jurisdiction in which the medical care was given. The issue is determined on the basis of the definition of the word “person” in the state’s wrongful death statute. There is usually some line of demarcation in the statute – a critical stage of development after which an action may be pursued by parents for the death of that fetus. In most jurisdictions, a parent is entitled to maintain an action to recover for the wrongful death of a fetus after the fetus is developed enough to live apart from its mother. Only a few courts have upheld such an action regardless of the viability of the fetus.
It is a known risk of therapy that a patient who is troubled, vulnerable, or suggestible may become overly attached to the therapist and may consent to sexual contact. This attachment to a therapist is so well known that it has been given a title. “Transference” describes a situation where a patient displaces feelings about another person and redirects them towards the therapist. Transference, while a normal and often important part of the therapeutic process, carries with it a great potential for abuse by the therapist.
Spoliation of Evidence
The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) is a federal law enacted in 1986 to stop the practice of “patient dumping,” or turning patients away from emergency rooms based on their lack of ability to pay. Under EMTALA, any hospital that has an emergency room and that receives federal funding must provide any individual coming to its premises with a medical screening examination to determine if an emergency condition or active pregnancy labor exists. If so, the hospital is required to stabilize the patient’s condition prior to transferring the patient to another facility, subject to a few narrowly defined exemptions. The transfer must be appropriate and meet certain conditions.