discussion 05 1 sterilization

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Patient Rights, Health Care Law, and Liability Insurance

Scenario (based on real cases from Oklahoma, Indiana, and New Mexico): A female patient who sought to avoid having any more children elected to be sterilized. After the procedure was successfully completed, the physician assured the patient that she was sterile. The patient subsequently became pregnant and delivered a healthy child. The patient sued the physician for the medical expenses incurred to have the child and the cost required to raise the child until the age of 18.

  1. If it is determined that the sterilization procedure was done properly, how should the court rule?
  2. Would your answer change if it was determined that the procedure was done negligently? Why or why not?
  3. Regardless, what could the physician have done to avoid such a claim?

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