Duty of Care and Medical Negligence – Care Example

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"Duty of Care and Medical Negligence" is a perfect example of a paper on care. Patient safety refers to the act of preventing inadvertent harm to patients by firstly understanding the causative factors, and then implementing the appropriate medical practice environment to stop them. One of the principles involved in this case is negligence. The hospital staff failed to take the appropriate measures to stop the patient from harming himself, regardless of the fact that the patient was suicidal and they were fully aware of this matter.               Mr. Garcia was restrained, however, this was not enough and he required direct one on one observation.

Evidently, the hospital staff failed to fulfill their duty to care for the patient. Mr. Garcia had admitted to the hospital that he had suicidal thoughts. Therefore, it was their duty to stop him from harming himself since the patient was psychologically unstable and in their custody. The hospital breached its duty of care by not taking the appropriate measures to protect the patient. Competent hospital staff would have provided the patient with one on one observation until he was in a stable condition and the hospital was sure he would not harm himself.

                The failure to provide the appropriate observation method is the ultimate causation factor for Mr. Garcia’ s death. Had he been properly monitored he would not have escaped and later jumped in front of the moving truck. The police and the hospital were both aware of Mr. Garcia’ s condition; the police fulfilled their duty by transporting Mr. Garcia to the hospital upon realizing that he was not in a stable mental state. This leaves only the hospital facility to blame for the cause of the accident as their incompetence resulted in the death of the patient (Bryden, 2011).               The defendants in this case are the staff members and the hospital facility.

The hospital facility could be held liable as the patient was in their custody. It failed to provide the patient with the care he required. The members of the hospital staff who decided what measures to take in protecting the patient are directly liable for the death of Mr. Garcia.

They were negligent in their decision making in terms of what supervision to provide the patient (‘ Clinical negligence’ , n. d). The hospital in this case is vicariously liable for the negligent act performed by its staff members. In this case, both parties can face charges because the members of staff are liable for their own actions whilst the hospital is liable for failing to supervise its employees.                       I think the court will find both the defendants guilty as they failed to meet their respective obligations as medical service providers. All the unfortunate events that occurred were caused by the hospital, as they could have been avoided if the appropriate observation measures had been taken.

The doctors ignored the patient’ s psychotic symptoms, which resulted in his death This case is similar to that of Esmin Green at Kings County Hospital, Brooklyn, New York in 2008. She visited the emergency room and was left unattended for 24hrs. Employees watched the patient lash out on the emergency floor but didn’ t do anything to help her. She later collapsed and died on the emergency floor. The family was given a $2 million settlement for their wrongful death lawsuit (Rosen Luik & Perry, n.d). This is similar in the sense that the hospital staff ignored the patient's symptoms resulting in the patient’ s death.

Similar to Mr. Garcia, the hospital staff ignored his potential risk of committing suicide which resulted in him escaping and later taking his own life.


Bryden, D. (2011). Duty of Care and medical negligence. Retrieved from


‘Clinical negligence’, (n.d) Retrieved from http://www.mind.org.uk/mental_health_a-


Rosen Luik & Perry. (n.d) 13 Disturbing Cases of Medical Malpractice. Retrieved from


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