Duncan v Scottsdale Medical Imaging

Table of Contents

Martha Duncan called a nurse at Scottsdale Memorial Hospital North on June 19, 1998, to discuss the procedure of a magnetic resonance imaging examination. She called Scottsdale Medical Imaging, the radiology group that would perform the procedure, to explain that due to a back condition, she would need a sedative during the MRI. She further explained that she was allergic to synthetic medications and could only receive morphine or Demerol.

The nurse guaranteed Duncan that SMI would comply with her appeal to administer one of those two drugs. When Duncan arrived for the procedure, she reiterated her precise medical requirements. At that point, a nurse informed her she would receive fentanyl, a synthetic drug similar to morphine, Duncan explicitly denied the drug and again asked for only Demerol or morphine. Duncan advised that the nurse call her doctor to discuss the drugs or reschedule the MRI. The nurse then informed Duncan that the medication had been swapped to morphine. When in actuality, the drug was not different; the nurse administered a shot of fentanyl, causing Duncan to suffer severe complications. (Duncan v. Scottsdale, 2003)

Procedural History:

Duncan initially declared three claims against SMI: medical malpractice, lack of informed consent, and battery. She progressed to dismiss the first two claims shortly after the court set a trial date. (Duncan v. Scottsdale, 2003)Issues: Is a drug injection against a patient’s will considers a battery? does it go against the Arizona’s constitution as a repeal of a patient’s right to collect for personal damages through common law?common law: sways the decision-making procedure in uncommon cases where the conclusion cannot be determined based on current statutes or written rules of law.

Analysis: initially determine whether the administration of a drug against a patient’s express wishes constitutes a battery under Arizona law. Duncan’s claim is really a “lack of informed consent”” case premised on negligence. Because Duncan failed to establish the standard of care required by providing expert testimony