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Pathology and Law : A Practical Guide for the Pathologist - Gregory Davis

Pathology and Law

A Practical Guide for the Pathologist

Paperback Published: 9th January 2004
ISBN: 9780387200354
Number Of Pages: 221

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Almost all pathologists face legal issues when dealing with the specimens they work with on a day-to-day basis, whether it involves quality control and assurance in handling the specimens, facing the possibility of malpractice suits, or serving as an expert witness in a trial.

Written in an easy to read, conversational tone, with a dose of good humor, this book fills the need for a handbook that discusses the full spectrum of legal issues that many pathologists face, written from a pathologist's point of view. Organized in 12 user-friendly chapters, the book begins with a comparison of Law and Medicine and explains the basics of the American Legal System. It continues with discussions of the impact of law on the practice of pathology, including such topics as specimens with potential legal implications, the controversy of saving organs for teaching, procuring and saving specimens for toxicology testing and DNA confirmation in identity testing. A must-have section on malpractice suits covers reasons why patients sue, what to do if sued, and reducing the chance of being sued. The author addresses expert witness testimony, including how to be an expert witness, conflicts of interest, conduct in a courtroom, what to say and what not to say. Quality control and assurance as it applies to the pathologist is also discussed. Legal implications for the information age, including the use of internet and e-mail with regard to patient confidentiality is discussed in detail. Case samples are scattered throughout the text to illustrate the principles discussed. Every term is defined in the glossary.

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Prefacep. ix
Contributorsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
On Medicine and Lawp. 1
Similaritiesp. 1
Differencesp. 2
The King in His Courtp. 3
Theory and Operation of the American Legal Systemp. 5
American Legal Theoryp. 5
American Legal Theory in Operationp. 7
The Dramatis Personaep. 7
Types of Trials-Civil and Criminalp. 15
Referencesp. 15
Impact of Law on Pathology Practice-Everyday Occurrencesp. 17
Medical Practicep. 17
The Duty of a Physicianp. 17
Pathologist-Patient Relationshipp. 20
Abandonmentp. 20
Surgical Specimens with Forensic Worthp. 21
Gross Pathology and the Traumatic Spleenp. 21
Bulletsp. 23
Chain of Custodyp. 24
Specimens with Civil Implications (Especially Potential Malpractice)p. 26
Cytologyp. 29
Cervical Preparationsp. 29
Fine Needle Aspiratesp. 30
Autopsiesp. 31
Obtaining Autopsy Consentp. 34
Performing a Hospital Autopsyp. 36
Retention of Specimensp. 43
Routinep. 43
At Request of an Attorneyp. 43
Anatomical Gifts and Unusual Specimensp. 46
Clinical Pathologyp. 51
Samples for Toxicology Testing (Ethanol and Drugs of Abuse)p. 51
Transfusion Medicinep. 53
Requests for DNA Confirmationp. 56
Citation of References in Reportsp. 60
Transmitting Information to Clinicians and Clinical Staffp. 61
Reporting Critical Valuesp. 61
What to Do When You Discover that an Error Has Occurredp. 63
Statute of Limitationsp. 68
Pathology Leadership of The Laboratoryp. 69
Disciplinary Actionsp. 70
Dismissalp. 71
Confronting a Colleaguep. 72
Consultations and Liabilityp. 72
Informal (Curbside) Consultsp. 73
By Clinical Staff of You Concerning an Opinion of Your Partnerp. 74
By a Partner on a Difficult Casep. 74
Obtained by You from an Outside Expert in a Difficult Casep. 75
Obtained of You by an Outside Pathologist in a Difficult Casep. 75
Referencesp. 75
Impact of Law on Practice of Pathology-Malpracticep. 77
What Is Malpractice?p. 77
The Four Pillars of Malpracticep. 78
The Business of Malpractice Lawp. 81
Patients as Plaintiffsp. 81
Practice of Medical Malpractice Lawp. 88
Formal Notification of a Malpractice Suitp. 91
Reaction to a Noticep. 91
Response to a Noticep. 93
The Importance of Keeping Your Mouth Shutp. 93
Parties to Whom You Should Speak after Being Named as a Defendant, and Whyp. 100
Work with the Attorney Assigned to Represent Youp. 101
Signs that You Need a New Attorneyp. 104
Possible Outcomesp. 110
When the Physician Is Found Guilty of Malpracticep. 114
When the Physician Is Found Not Guilty of Malpracticep. 114
Difficulty of Countersuitsp. 115
Reducing the Chance of a Malpractice Suitp. 115
Indefensible Positionsp. 119
The Impaired Physicianp. 126
Professional Misconductp. 127
Criminal Wrongdoingp. 129
Referencesp. 129
Expert Witness Testimonyp. 131
Requirements to Be an Expert Witnessp. 131
Reasons to Avoid Becoming an Expert Witnessp. 134
How to Become an Expert Witnessp. 135
Accepting or Refusing a Casep. 136
Expectations of a Good Expert Witnessp. 137
Equanimityp. 138
Keeping Track of Prior Testimonyp. 139
Reportp. 140
Competence in Testifyingp. 141
Payment as an Expert Witnessp. 141
What an Expert Witness Is Paid forp. 142
Setting Expert Witness Feesp. 142
Getting Stiffedp. 145
Referencesp. 148
Natural History of a Legal Suitp. 149
Preliminary Stagesp. 149
Reviewing the Case with an Attorneyp. 149
Reviewing the Case Yourselfp. 154
Depositionp. 155
What Is a Deposition?p. 155
Advantages of a Depositionp. 156
Conduct at Depositionp. 157
Outcome of a Depositionp. 161
Trialp. 161
Jury Selectionp. 161
Presentation of Evidencep. 162
Jury Deliberationp. 163
Mistrialsp. 164
Trial Datesp. 165
Testifyingp. 166
On Giving a Good Performancep. 166
On Testifyingp. 168
Legal Ploys Used by Attorneysp. 176
Unethical Expert Witness Testimonyp. 181
Ethical Expert Witness Testimonyp. 181
Unethical Expert Witness Testimonyp. 181
Lyingp. 181
Willful Failure to Consider Pertinent Medical Evidencep. 182
Quackeryp. 183
Mechanisms for Handling Unethical Testimonyp. 184
In Courtp. 184
Out of Courtp. 187
Conclusionp. 189
Referencesp. 190
Quality Assurance and Record Keepingp. 191
Definitions and Requirementsp. 191
Importance of Quality Assurance to a Hospitalp. 191
Overlap of Quality Assurance and Risk Managementp. 192
Shortcomings of Quality Assurance Programsp. 192
Record Keepingp. 193
Referencep. 193
When the Time Comes to Be an Activist: Interacting with the Legislaturep. 195
General Overview of the Legislative Processp. 195
Staying Current with Legislationp. 196
Communicating with Your Legislatorsp. 197
Telephone Callsp. 197
Facsimiles and E-mailp. 198
Personal Lettersp. 198
Meeting with Your Legislatorsp. 199
Planning the Meetingp. 199
Common Errors in Interacting with Legislatorsp. 199
Conclusionp. 200
Sourcesp. 200
Legal Implications for the Information Agep. 201
Health Information Portability and Accountability Actp. 201
Telemedicinep. 202
Advantages and Disadvantagesp. 202
Legal Mattersp. 203
E-mailp. 207
Referencesp. 208
Glossary of Legal Termsp. 209
Indexp. 215
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780387200354
ISBN-10: 0387200355
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 221
Published: 9th January 2004
Publisher: Springer-Verlag New York Inc.
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.57 x 16.2  x 1.12
Weight (kg): 0.34