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An Angry Surgeon,A Patient’s Death

It was alleged that a surgeon unlawfully killed a teenage cancer patient when he lost his temper as she lay on an operating table. The physician is said to have become angry because the operation at the hospital was making him late for his next appointment. The physician denied manslaughter at the opening of the trial. Part of the patient’s heart was punctured, and she died of massive internal bleeding. A staff nurse, who was assisting in the operating room, told the court that she was aghast at the physician’s behavior and language during the operation. She told the jury that the physician was unable to insert a needle and guide wire into the patient and that the physician pushed and shoved the patient’s body quite aggressively, using such forces that the patient’s entire body shook. The nurse was asked by the prosecutor if she had ever seen that sort of behavior or anything like it, and she replied that she had not. The physician admitted that something had gone wrong but that it was a rare and recognized complication. The judge instructed the jury that they “should not unconsciously be swayed by sympathies in direction, either for Kelly and her family, or sympathy for {the physician| in his position.

Questions:An Angry Surgeon,A Patient’s Death

  1. Discuss the ethical issues and values that were violated in this case.
  2. Discuss how a physician’s daily schedule of conducting surgery, making patient rounds, writing prescriptions, dealing with angry family members, going to the office, and so on can affect his or her temper and ability to function effectively as a physician.
  3. Discuss how on-the-job pressures for nurses, physicians and other caregivers affect patient care.
  1. Discuss the ethical issues and values that were violated in this case.
  2. Discuss how a physician’s daily schedule of conducting surgery, making patient rounds, writing prescriptions, dealing with angry family members, going to the office, and so on can affect his or her temper and ability to function effectively as a physician.
  3. Discuss how on-the-job pressures for nurses, physicians and other caregivers affect patient care.