Dr. Goldberg is Director of Skin Laser & Surgery Specialists of New York and New Jersey, Director of Mohs Surgery and laser research, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, and Adjunct Professor of Law, Fordham Law School.
A doctor who prescribed oral retinoids to an acne patient is sued by the patient's family after the patient commits suicide. The doctor's career, practice, reputation and everything he holds dear are at risk simply because he tried to be a good doctor. Should he try to defend himself? Will he lose the case at trial?
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) provides a general legal framework for access of individuals with disabilities to public places and also for accommodating employees with disabilities in the workplace. Although the ADA contains very specific guidance for physical accommodations, such as wheelchair access, it provides little guidance relevant to workers with conditions such as diabetes.
In expert witness testimony, the law requires that the expert practice health care in a field of practice that involves the same type of care of treatment as that provided by the defendant health care provider; has knowledge of accepted standards of care for providers for the diagnosis, care, or treatment of the illness, injury or condition involved in the claim; and is qualified on the basis of training or experience to offer an expert opinion regarding those accepted standards of health care.
Dr. Skin, a dermatologic surgeon and head of a resident training program at a well-recognized academic center performed a surgical excision on a patient's eyelid growth. The patient called in the evening with concerns about her vision and spoke with Dr. Skin's covering physician who assured her that was not unusual. In the morning, the patient's vision was gone. She sues both Dr. Skin and his covering physician. Is Dr. Skin liable?
Dr. Skin has become increasingly concerned about the number of school shootings in the United States. He has established an office policy that has his staff asking patients if they own a gun. If they do, they are not allowed to bring the weapon to the office. He has recently been sued by a patient for simply asking the question “Do you own a gun?”.
There is no cut-and-dried correct response to firing an employee charged with domestic abuse, but, there are a number of factors dermatologists should first take into consideration before taking any adverse employment actions against workers embroiled in domestic violence disputes.