Hillcrest Medical Center (HMC) Case


According to the filed case, Martin Shane Phillips alongside his friend and his friend and a co-worker Mike Lulka walked in the emergency room of Hillcrest Medical Center (HMC) on Wednesday, September 23, 1998. While at the hospital, Martin Shane complained of some pain from his chest and pneumonia-like symptoms. The staff at HMC asked for his background information including the health insurance cover; however, Martin claimed that he was covered and had forgotten where he placed his insurance card. Martin’s co-worker, Lulka decided to offer his insurance card since they worked under the same employer. Hillcrest Medical Centre administrative staff indicated on Martin’s file that he was not insured. Lugenia Cue, a registered nurse, decided the order of treatment for Martin and was later examined by Dr. Carolyn in the minor care section of the emergency room. He was given two prescriptions and was allowed to leave the emergency room to go to the Oklahoma medical clinic for further monitoring.

Martin reported to work on Thursday and Friday after being discharged from HMC though his symptoms were still persisting. His conditioned worsen on Saturday and Sunday, this forced Fred Phillips to rush him to the emergency room at Tulsa Regional Medical Center on Sunday night. While at the hospital, Fred claimed Martin was suffering from nausea and had been vomiting continuously for four days. The demographic information given by Martin was denied and assumed that he was using illegal drugs. An emergency room doctor examined him and found out that Martin was suffering from pneumonia. However, Dr. Stacy insisted for further tests and confirmed that Martin was suffering from bacterial endocarditis. His health deteriorated and was later pronounced dead on September 28, 1998. It is evident that Martin complained to the doctor but he was not taken seriously and this significantly contributed to the loss of life.


In the mentioned case, four issues raised concern. The first one denies conducting cross-examination of Hillcrest Medical Center nurses regarding the patient. The second issue is the failure of HMC stuff to admit Martin for a relevant period while monitoring his condition. The third one emerges as a result of granting HMC’s Rule 50 based on the motion raised by EMTALA. Finally, accepting the allegation of Martin Shane’s drug use. These issues attracted a breach of a patient’s rights for fair treatment and medication. Additionally, the administrative staff of Hillcrest Medical Center should be sued, and they would have offered satisfying emergency services to Martin upon arriving at the hospital. The initial evaluation, diagnosis and treatment plan for Martin was below the standard. In general, the issue for this case is whether or not the failure of HMC’s stuff to administer cross-examination on Martin constituted to negligence. According to the law of tort, negligence is treated as a civil wrong, and therefore the plaintiff needs to be compensated for a wrongful act which resulted in the loss of life. Both HMC and TRMC should be deemed negligent for breaching the duty of care to the deceased, and the civil wrong caused the plaintiff to suffer.

SECTION THREE: The Court’s Ruling

Concerning the violation of EMTALA, Martin was not handled rightfully by HMC claiming that he was uninsured. Despite Lulka presenting his insurance card to be used for meeting the treatment for Martin, the entire HMC administrative staff failed to observe the formal procedure. The ruling indicates that differential treatment was not offered and the staff was negligent. The enactment of EMTALA in 1986 aimed at addressing the cases of patients being dumped by medical facilities after failing to provide a health insurance plan. Hillcrest Medical Center neglected Martin’s case and decided to refer him to another medical clinic instead of offering him emergence services. Under EMTALA Act, the health facility is required to participate fully in helping the patient by first performing an initial medical examination to determine the exact disease before administering treatments. After asking for background information, HMC’s nurse did not conduct any test; instead, Martin was introduced to medication which did not correspond to the primary disease. Secondly, EMTALA requires any hospital to stabilize patients with emergency cases before discharging or referring them to another medical facility.   The HMC staff did not follow this rule, Martin was allowed to leave the emergency room even though his conditions had failed to subside. Therefore, these two provisions under the EMTALA were breached, thus explains why the court ruled in favor of the patient who succumbed.

SECTION FOUR: The Court’s Analysis

The court analyses the ruling based on the provisions of the law acting in a similar manner as the trial body. Each party is given the time to express the affidavit, and the court listens to the issues raised before making a judgement. The law requires the court to provide the ruling based on massive evidence to challenge either party. The opposing party has the right to appeal in the event where the judgement is not satisfying, but this should be done according to the law enshrined in the constitution governing jurisprudence. With this in mind, the prevailing facts and all necessary inferences presented before the court are reviewed in the light most applicable to the appellant. Furthermore, the legal framework act as driving forces for the court to conduct effective case analysis and make a fair judgement based on the available evidence. Therefore, the judge’s reason for the ruling is based on the violation of the EMTALA Act which protects the rights of a patient seeking medical services from any hospital. The physicians and emergency room doctor were negligent and breached their duty of care for the patient resulting in the loss of life.

SECTION FIVE: Conclusion

In conclusion, after analysing the case and going through the issues presented, I affirm that the court made a fair ruling. The staff at Hillcrest Medical Center demonstrated a high level of negligence by dumping the patient and failing to stabilize him before the discharge. The patient walked in to the emergency room with the expectation that he will be examined, diagnosed and treated but the staff was reluctantly claiming that he was uninsured. The breach of duty for care caused the patient to lose his life in an unpleasant situation. Both the physicians and the nurses were in better positions to save the life of the patient, but because of their negligence, Martin passed. I strongly agree to the court ruling, and I affirm the judgement made.

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