Malpractice And Liability

Read Complete Research Material


Malpractice and Liability

Malpractice and Liability

“Malpractice" and “liability” are perhaps 02 of the most dreadful words in the medical service. Patients don't want to experience it, Doctors don't want to discuss it, and lawmakers don't want to manage it. But any real discussion of medical issues must take malpractice and liability into account. Legal liability of supervisors to supervisees beyond the principles of respondeat superior or vicarious liability was explored. After defining 4 widely accepted elements of malpractice, it was determined that each of the 4 elements could be applied in the supervisory relationship. Most of the literature involving malpractice charges against supervisors examined the principle of respondeat superior or vicarious liability to the client. (Duane, David , 2002) Prosser, in Slovenko's (2000) seminal work on the legal issues involved in supervision, explained this concept: By reason of certain relationships that may exist between parties, the negligence of one may be charged against the other, though the latter has played no part in it, has done nothing whatever to aid or encourage it, and, in fact has done all that he possibly can to prevent it. (p. 453)

Slovenko described several settings in which the actions of a supervisor or supervisee were the direct and proximate cause of some sort of injury to a client. In addressing the case of Tarasoft v. Regents of the University of California (2004), Slovenko noted that 'litigation against supervisors may be called the 'suit of the future" (p. 468). According to Slovenko, the "underlying principle of vicarious liability [is] 'let the superior reply" (p. 468). Slovenko described only those cases of legal liability that involved the responsibility of supervisors to the client for the actions of their supervisees. However, Slovenko's early opinion stated that the "educator-like ' quality of psychologists may make primary liability of supervisors difficult to establish (p. 468).

In 2000, Tannenbaum and Berman noted the emergence of both a consumer orientation and an increase in accountability in psychotherapy. This trend suggested a move toward more litigation involving psychotherapists. Tannenbaum and Berman supported Slovenko's (2000) contention that the principle of respondeat superior implied that the supervisor was responsible for the actions of the supervisee. (Duane, David , 2002) Overall, they concluded that "today's psychotherapy supervisor is ultimately responsible for every act or omission of his or her supervisee" (Tannenbaum & Berman, 2000, p. 76). Both Slovenko and Tannenbaum and Berman focused on the supervisor's responsibility to the client for damages, not on responsibility to the supervisee.

Other authors also examined the legal and ethical responsibilities inherent in the supervisory role. Watkins (2007) stated that the supervisor is responsible for the action of the supervisee much as a doctor is responsible for personnel in an operating theater. In a discussion of legal concerns in the field of rehabilitation education, Remley and Hendren (2007) stated that respondeat superior, or the supervisor's responsibility to the supervisee's client, is the center of the legal definition of the supervisor's ...
Related Ads