Legal Foundations of Healthcare

LegalFoundations of Healthcare


Medicaldoctors have always been perceived as some of the most respectableand intelligent professionals. For one to be a qualified doctor, heor she has to read a large number of medical books, undertake severalyears of training and undergo constant retraining. However, doctorsare still human beings and are prone to mistakes. People makemistakes every day, in which some are irrelevant, but other cancompletely change one’s life. In United States of America, peopleare suing doctors for mistakes they made while carrying out theirhealth care duties. However, some cases are insignificant but othershave completely changed some of the patients’ lives (Griffin,2013).

Case: A 71- year- old woman sues Cypress Fairbank health center for sexualassault

In2012, a seventy- one year-old woman, who was sexually abused by anurse in her hospital room sued a health facility known as CypressFairbank for gross negligence.The sexual abuse took place on 3 May,2012, when the victim, Alfaro was admitted in Cypress Fairbank healthfacility after being diagnosed with a urinary tract infection andgastroenteritis. A qualified nursing assistant entered her room anddecided to sexually assault her, instead of changing her adult diaperand cleaning her. After the terrible action, the nursing assistantcleansed himself, but left behind adequate body fluids that would beused as evidence. The following day, Alfaro visited the MemorialHerman hospital for forensic and medical examination. Luckily, theculprit’s semen was found in the woman’s vagina. On 14 September,2012, the nursing assistant who was known as Manuel Alvarado wasarrest and charged with intensive sexual abuse of an elderly woman.Before the incident, the culprit had been accused of three offenses,and sexual assault was one of them (Your Houston News, 2012).

argument of each side of the case

Thevictim, Paula Alfaro was represented by an attorney known as MillerWeisbrod, who worked in a Texas law firm that specialized in medicalnegligence. In the court appeal, Weisbrod, on behalf of his client,Alfaro, charged the hospital nursing assistant for violating thestandards of healthcare. Moreover, the attorney, held the hospitalresponsible for the actions that its employees commit while workingunder the civil law. In addition, the attorney charged the culpritfor violating the rights, welfare and safety of the victim. Theattorney further affirmed that the sexual assault made Alfaro sufferfrom mental anguish, physical pain and suffering, and she has toundergo medical treatments. Since the victim was an elderly woman andsick at that time, the sexual assault would have resulted to severeinjuries towards her (Your Houston News, 2012).

Theculprit, Alvarado went missing after the police issued a warrantarrest on him. However, reports indicated that Alvarado hadpreviously been charged with three crimes, and they include, drivingwhile drunk, sexual assault and evading arrest. The Cypress FairbanksHealth care facility ascertained that it been cooperating with thepolice regarding the investigation of the case. More so, the Medicalfacility affirmed that it had carried out a thorough background checkof Alvarado before he was employed, and found that he had a cleanrecord. Investigators confirmed from the hospital administrationemployees that Alvarado was assigned to take care of the elderlywoman the night in which the incident took place (ABC News, Inc,2012).

of the ruling case

Theculprit, Alvarado was found guilty, and was released on a bond of$30,000 and $250,000 for inflicting mental and physical pain towardsthe victim. Even though the case does not involve the Tort reform,attorney Weisbrod is against the malpractice laws of Texas, whichprotect the hospital whenever a patient is sexually abused by itsemployees. This is the reason as to why Alvarado was imposed mildpunishment, and the hospital was not charged anything. Therefore,patients who have been sexually abused by health care ought to gatheradequate evidence, and file a lawsuit within 120 days after thecrime. Moreover, the victim has to undergo a medical examination froma known health care facility and present the information to the court(Your Houston News, 2012).

Theparty that had the best legal argument, and pros and cons of everyside of the argument

Thecomplainant, Paula Alvaro represented by her lawyer, Weisbrod had thebest legal argument because she provided adequate evidence that madethe defendant plead guilty. In this case, the following day after theincidence, Alvaro visited the Memorial Herman hospital for medicalexamination. They found some semen on the victim’s private part andtherefore compiled a valid medical report. In addition, Alvaro wasrepresented by an attorney who had vast experience in dealing withhealthcare malpractices cases. However, the culprit did not receivesevere punishment because the Texas laws protect healthcare staffwhenever they sexually assault patients. On the other, hand,Alvarado’s case was weak because he did not have an attorney torepresent him in the case. In addition, the health careadministration staff stated in an investigation that Alvarado wasassigned the duty of taking care of Alvaro, the day the incidencetook place. However, he did not receive a severe punishment becausethe Texas laws protect healthcare employees when they engage insexual abuse.

Inconclusion, sexual abuse culprits ought to be severely punished so asto prevent them from repeating the act. In response to the case, theTexas laws ought to be changed so as bring about fairness towards theaffected people as opposed to the excess tort reforms that protect alarge number of healthcare facilities.


ABCNews, Inc (2011, September 14). Male nursing assistant accused ofsexual assault of an elderly woman. Retrieved from

Griffin,S. (2013, May 29). Ten horrible cases of medical malpractice.Retrieved from

YourHouston News (2012, January 26). Seventy- one- year- old woman suesCypress Fairbanks Medical Center over hospital worker’s sexualassault. Retrieved from