The new case on intentional tort involves a two-year-old Ella Ussery versus Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Inc (Mason, 2008). The case was decided in 2008 by the court of appeal of Georgia. However, Ella Ussery was administered to the hospital for reconstructive surgery in the year 1998. After undergoing the surgery, she developed throat spasms that caused her to stop breathing. She was intubated but by the time it was successful, the physician deprived her of oxygen for at least 20 minutes (Mason, 2008). Later, the physicians realized that Ella had a severe brain injury and recommended the option to withdraw Life-Sustaining Medical Treatment (LSMT). The Usserys consented to the withdrawal of LSMT since they did not want their daughter to be alive if she could never play or laugh again.
The Usserys filed an intentional tort case against the physician and the hospital. The case was based on the fact that the decision by the physician to withdraw LSMT was inappropriate (Mason, 2008). Similarly, they claimed that they were misled regarding their daughter’s condition, and the agreement was secured through fraud. The court ethically considered that intentional tort only applies in a situation when there is no consent. However, the Usserys did consent. Similarly, the Usserys failed to prove that the defendant engaged in fraud and also made a willful misinterpretation of Ella’s condition. Therefore, the court found that there was no material fact as to the physician and the hospital’s intent to cause harm to Ella by removing the LSMT.
Mason, T. P. (January 24, 2008). Medical futility blog. Retrieved from http://medicalfutility.blogspot.co.ke/2008/01/new-case-ussery-v-childrens-healthcare.html
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