The Law Offices of John Phebus

January 2016 Archives

Chemotherapy may benefit some colon cancer patients

Arizona residents with colon cancer in their family history may be interested in the result of a study published Jan. 21 in the New England Journal of Medicine that examines a way of detecting how aggressive colon cancer might be at an earlier stage. Usually, chemotherapy is not recommended following surgery for patients who have stage 2 colon cancer. However, researchers say that a certain genetic marker may indicate that some patients will benefit from chemotherapy.

Some hospitals fail to follow brain death diagnosis guidelines

In the past, the American Academy of Neurology has attempted to established guidelines for the diagnosis of brain death. In 2010, it published practice parameters meant to create consistent steps for diagnosing brain death that all hospitals would follow, including those in Arizona. A follow up study that surveyed hospital practices, however, discovered that not all hospitals are applying the guidelines.

Pediatric heart surgery program problems

Dealing with serious heart problems in a young child can be risky at any Arizona hospital. However a recent investigative report noted that some hospitals throughout the nation have such poor success rates in pediatric heart surgeries that some colleagues are calling for the closure of unsuccessful programs. One extreme example is a Florida hospital that had a record of nine deaths of babies following heart surgery during a period of less than four years.

Studies show how to improve patient safety

A series of studies conducted by Oxford University may have answered the question of how to maximize patient safety during surgery. One school of thought believes that hospital staff working together made patients safer. Another believes that improved technology and operating technique would keep patients safer. However, after five studies conducted by the Quality, Reliability, Safety and Teamwork Unit, it is believed that a combination of the two may work best in hospitals in Arizona and around the country.

Married Arizona residents protected by spousal privilege

Different individuals and groups enjoy special privileges when it comes to whether or not they must reveal information in certain formal proceedings. In addition to the rights of physicians, psychotherapists and social workers not to disclose information from their patients and clients during judicial goings-on, many spouses are granted a similar set of allowances.

Criminal implications for safety violations on the job

Although Arizona employers can face charges for some safety violations, these are typically misdemeanor penalties at worst. However, a memorandum of understanding that was signed in December 2015 will leave more room for federal criminal prosecutions in the future. The agreement includes the Department of Justice as well as the Department of Labor, and it is designed to make it easier to deal with safety crimes through the court system. The two departments will coordinate more efficiently with each other to achieve this goal.

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