I read an article in today’s paper that disappointed me but did not surprise me. If you have ever had to visit the emergency room, you might feel the same way. The article appeared in the Houston Chronicle and centered around a woman in Waukegan, IL who at age 49 was exhibiting the classic signs of having a heart attack.
She went to the emergency room and upon evaluation, her case was decided to be “semi-emergent.” When she was finally called in to see a doctor, two hours later, she was found dead in her waiting room chair.
I thought this article begged the question, “what level of care is to be expected in an emergency room, and when does quality of care cross into a duty to provide care?” In this particular case, the woman’s death was ruled a homicide and may result in criminal charges. I have to think that it will only be a matter of time before a civil case is filed, as well. Be it wrongful death or negligence, the emergency room certainly seems liable. This will be an interesting story to follow, and I know I will be keeping up with it. I will keep you posted.