Emergency Hearing Response
An emergency hearing may be needed in the case of caring for an underage patient when a guardian is not present. An example may be a child that attends a daycare who falls and breaks a collarbone. The injury seems like just a case of a broken bone. The daycare director cannot get in touch with the guardians when suddenly the child begins having difficulty breathing. The daycare calls EMS and has the child transported to the nearest hospital. Upon examination by the physician, it is determined that the child has a punctured lung from the broken collarbone and will need surgery immediately. The daycare still cannot get in touch with the parents. This may be a case that would require an emergency hearing in order to save the life of the child. Some governing body, other than the daycare, may need to grant permission to proceed with the life-saving surgery.
Another example of an emergency hearing is the case of a homeless, mentally ill patient who reports having no family. After a week at the hospital and successful treatment of a subsequent illness, the hospital deems it unsafe to discharge the patient back to the streets. It is the hospital’s stance that the patient presents a danger to society due to his mental illness. The hospital and medical practitioners feel that he should be committed to a mental institution until he is stabilized. The patient refutes the idea. In this case, the hospital may need to petition the courts for the patient’s involuntary commitment.
As our Showalter (2012) states, “Students of healthcare administration need to become familiar with the law and legal system” (p. 3). In addition, students will need to be able to identify scenarios within their own organizations that merit legal advice. Healthcare administrators can accomplish this by relying on the leadership team within the hospital. The Bible reminds leaders of the importance of having help: “When there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14, English Standard Version).
Showalter, J. S. (2012). The Law of Healthcare Administration. (7th ed.). Chicago, IL: Health Administration Press. ISBN:978-1-56793-644-5
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