Solved Essay! In the Ostrowski case, there existed a material issue of fact about whether the patient's failure to


In the Ostrowski case, there existed a material issue of fact about whether the patient’s failure to follow the medical care instructed may have contributed to the harm caused. Should a physician be immune from liability in those cases in which the patient’s contribution to the harm suffered was as great as the physician’s contribution?

Expert Answer

In this case, Azzara explained to Ostrowski that she could loose a limb if she did not better monitor her blood sugar levels and her weight. After the procedure was performed, Ostrowski continued to smoke against Azzara’s medical advice. Due to her poor circulation from the diabetes and her smoking habits, Ostrowski required two operations and a vein transplant procedure in an attempt to save her foot and leg from amputation. Ostrowski significantly contributed to her injuries because she continued to smoke against medical advice and failed to maintain her weight, diet, and blood sugar at acceptable levels. In this case Azzara was not held liable for the damages.

In the cases where the patients lack of care and instructions avoidance would have aggravated the situation, the physician should not be completely immune. They should be made to pay a fine so that they are extremely careful in the future. Although the patient should also not be liable to get damages as this might propagate careless behavior by patients towards their own situations. The doctors should be penalized and should pay a fine or indulge in community service to make up for the harm they did.

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