Smith V. Haugland And The Iowa Heart And Vascular Clinic

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Medical Malpractice Case Study
Karen Gonzalez
Southern New Hampshire University

The case of Smith vs. Haugland and the Iowa Heart and Vascular Clinic is a medical malpractice case in which the parties involved include the plaintiffs, a woman named Louetta Smith and her husband Richard and the defendant, a cardiologist named Dr. Frank Haugland and the clinic in which he practiced, the Iowa Heart and Vascular Care Clinic. The plaintiffs sued for malpractice after the defendant performed a procedure on Louetta in which she had complications and irreversible life changing harm. The plaintiffs believed that the defendant performed an unnecessary procedure and that he did not obtain an informed consent. Louetta Smith was 76 years …show more content…

It would have been helpful to have his signature on the consent. Physicians can get too relaxed with consents and risks and benefits and documentation in the medical record. It goes by unnoticed until a patient has a complication and the physician is unable to prove what they did. Or maybe sometimes, they really did not get informed consent. The plaintiff would have still have an injuries caused by the procedure, but would likely have been considered an unfortunate bad outcome, but not negligence. They did not attempt to prove the physician was negligent in his performance of the procedure. The physician should also have tried other more conservative measures before treating with cardiac ablation. Just because you can do a procedure, doesn’t mean it is always appropriate. Physicians take an oath to “First do no harm”. Procedures are good money makers. I also think an out of court settlement would have been better for the defendant. Having a jury see the extent of Louetta’s injuries and then listen to her and her husband discuss that their life was life prior to the procedure certainly tugged at their heart strings and influenced their decision and the amount of their award. It was interesting to review and analysis this medical malpractice lawsuit and develop a better understanding of how laws and ethics are used in court for medical malpractice

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