Doctor may be negligent in Pennsylvania woman’s death

Emergency personnel and physicians have a responsibility to professionally respond to incidents both day and night. Failure to do so can result in medical malpractice suits. Philadelphia residents in need of ambulatory or emergency care rely on the system to help them in their time of need. Unfortunately, as one Pennsylvania family has learned, sometimes that system may fail.

The parents of a 35-year-old Conshohocken woman continues to seek justice three years after their daughter passed away. The woman had taken part in a sporting event one Saturday in New Jersey, and her body was found the next morning on the city’s boat launching ramp. Thirty minutes after her body was discovered, a physician pronounced the woman dead over the phone without examining her.

Such a diagnosis is problematic, as state law requires a physician receive the results of an examination conducted by a doctor, nurse or paramedic. In this instance, law enforcement arrived on the scene and checked for the woman’s pulse. Upon finding none, they cordoned off the area, preventing emergency personnel from accessing her body. Therefore, the doctor had only received information from responding law enforcement, not another medical professional.

A judge recently ruled that the young woman may have been alive and suffering hypothermia at the time she was declared deceased. The judge has decided to allow the woman’s parents to pursue justice against the doctor, as his negligence may have increased their daughter’s worsened conditions.

Anyone who feels their loved one has been a victim of wrongful death due to doctor errors should seek legal counsel. Families may be entitled to compensation and damages for medical expenses and other costs.

Source: Press of Atlantic City, “Judge Oks trial in suit over Sea Isle City woman’s death,” Trudi Gilfillian, Oct. 16, 2013



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