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Medical Malpractice Case for Keeping Patient Alive

This edition of the Koldin Law Center E-Newsletter reviews a recent Court Case finding that families can sue for Medical Malpractice for pain and suffering when a medical provider administers life saving measures causing the patient to remain alive against his/her wishes.

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The majority of our clients sign a Health Care Proxy which includes the authority to terminate life support measures.

In a recent New York Appellate Court case, the issue was what liability health care providers have for not honoring medical treatment directives.

In the case of “Greenberg v. Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital,” the patient signed a Health Care Proxy, a Living Will, and a Medical Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST). These documents clearly directed that no antibiotics or intravenous fluids be used other than to minimize pain.

The Health Care Agent under the Health Care Proxy verbally directed that the patient was not to receive interventional medical treatment, including antibiotics, and that he was only to be provided with measures to alleviate pain, so that his suffering would end as quickly as possible.

Nevertheless, the attending physician directed that the patient be treated with intravenous antibiotics and ordered a brain CT, chest X ray, ECG, blood tests, and the administration of other medications that were not necessary to alleviate pain.

An expert testified that had the patient not received treatment, he likely would have died from sepsis within a few days. Instead, he endured pain and suffering over a period of approximately 30 days, until he died.

The lower Court held that you cannot file a malpractice claim for providing medical treatment to keep a patient alive. The Appellate Court reversed and sent the case back for a trial.

The Appellate Court held that the claim can go forward in the Trial Court to sue for damages for the deceased patient’s pain and suffering, which was allegedly the result of medical malpractice in that defendants breached the standard of care by administering treatments without consent and in direct contravention of the patient’s wishes expressed in his advance directives as reaffirmed by his health care agent and in the MOLST.

For more information about basic Estate Planning, including, a Health Care Proxy, Last Will and Testament, and Power of Attorney, please visit our website by clicking here.

At the Koldin Law Center, P.C., located in East Syracuse, New York, we have over 50 years of experience helping individuals plan for immediate crisis and long term care. Our attorneys are available to discuss your estate planning options, including the advantages and disadvantages of Revocable Trusts and Irrevocable Trusts, along with other estate planning considerations including a Will, Power of Attorney, and Health Care Proxy.

When the Koldin Law Center, P.C. handles a Medicaid case, we not only handle the entire application process, but we also review asset protection options with our clients. We review with our clients who are already in a Nursing Home options to protect some or all of their assets beyond merely establishing Medicaid eligibility.

We do not charge a fee for the initial consultation. We welcome your children, family attorney, accountant, and/or financial planner to be present at the initial consultation.

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Our Attorneys are available to speak to your organization

Our Attorneys speak to groups throughout New York State as a public service. If you would like to arrange for one of our Attorneys to speak to your group, please contact our office.

We appreciate your referrals

We have been told by many clients who are in a crisis that they wish they had known about our firm much sooner. We are proud of the many families we have helped in times of crisis.

We are also proud of the many families we helped avoid financial crisis by doing estate planning in advance.

We all share the responsibility for making our family and friends aware of the planning options available to them.

Your referral to the Koldin Law Center could make a major difference in the lives of your family and friends if they are someday faced with a long term illness.

Remember that the Koldin Law Center offers many services for clients of all ages. Our services range from basic estate planning such as a simple will to complex estate planning including asset preservation planning.


E - Newsletter

Practice Areas

Basic Estate Planning

Trust Planning

Medicaid Planning And MedicaidApplications

Planning For Individuals With Disabilities

Probate And EstateAdministration