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EBOLA IN THE USA – Nurse Plans to Sue Hospital

"Ebola nurse to sue Dallas hospital parent company over training, privacy concerns."  

"Experimental drugs and special care helped make Nina Pham Ebola free. But today she fears she may never escape the deadly disease.

The 26-year-old nurse says she has nightmares, body aches and insomnia as a result of contracting the disease from a patient she cared for last fall at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas."

Nurse Nina Pham, First Nurse to Contact Ebola in the USA, is reportedly planning to sue Dallas Hospital.

The first person infected with Ebola in the United States, nurse Nina Pham, said she was used for publicity purposes by her hospital, which also invaded her privacy and did not properly train her, the Dallas Morning News reported on Sunday.

“I wanted to believe that they would have my back and take care of me, but they just haven’t risen to the occasion,” Nina Pham told the newspaper.

The Morning News reports that Pham on Monday will file suit against Texas Health Resources, the parent company of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. She claims that personnel at the hospital didn’t have the gear or resources to deal with Ebola and didn’t get enough instruction for care or treatment.

Pham, 26, told the newspaper that chaos hit the Dallas hospital when it admitted Thomas Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States after he contracted it in Liberia. Nurses were ill prepared and received little guidance on how to treat Ebola or protect themselves.

Duncan was put into isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in late September and died less than two weeks later.  Pham, who became infected while treating him, later recovered and was welcomed in the Oval Office by President Barack Obama. She is planning to sue the hospital, the paper said. The hospital has reached a settlement with Duncan's family.

 “Nina Pham bravely served Texas Health Dallas during a most difficult time,” Texas Health Resources told the Morning News in a statement released by a spokesman. “We continue to support and wish the best for her, and we remain optimistic that constructive dialogue can resolve this matter.”

Before Pham left the Texas hospital for treatment at a National Institutes of Health clinical center in Maryland, she was filmed by a doctor who said the recording was educational in nature, she told the Morning News. She said she didn’t give the parent company, which had worked with a firm to create a public relations campaign in the wake of the Duncan case, her approval to give the clip to journalists.

“I could tell that they wanted me to stay just because they kind of knew, they could see I was getting better,” Pham said told the Morning News. “They wanted that ‘yes, we cured her’ kind of attitude. They wanted a win, especially after a loss.”

Even after her recovery, Pham remains concerned about how her diagnosis and treatment will affect her future, the newspaper reports.

“I feel like I’ve been less social, in a way. Every time you’re in a social setting, especially now, Ebola always comes up,” Pham told the newspaper. “It’s very hard to talk about it.”

The Washington Post  and the Dallas News are two of the resources to which OneWorld referred in compiling this post.  Click the links below to read more details from each.

Free of Ebola but not fear- Nurse Nina Pham to file lawsuit against Presby parent, worries about continued health woes


What rights do patients have when they enter a treatment facility or in dealing with health care providers? Prior to the proper enforcement of HIPPA, one of the problems that repeatedly came up was the interpretation of these rights.

Patient rights are those basic rule of conduct between patients and medical caregivers as well as the institutions and people that support them. A patient is anyone who has requested to be evaluated by or who is being evaluated by any healthcare professional.  (Mar 27, 2013)
Selecting Someone to ACT On Patient's Behalf (A Health Care Advocate or Representative):
One of the problems we have now is that some institutions take HIPPA to the other
extreme so that even those who have been suitably designated by a patient cannot access
important information to act on the patient's behalf.  So unless the patient had entered an
order at the time of entering the hospital, the patient's next-of-kin might not be able to act in the
patient's best interest. Importantly, there are also situations under which family conflict, or complex
family situations, and dynamics makes it virtually impossible to determine who is the "correct or
appropriate"next of kin.  That makes it difficult for the hospital staff to determine who should
act as the patient's representative, and importantly, to whom information should be given.
There have been situations where a male patient had an estranged wife and a live-in girlfriend;
both wanted to act on his behalf. how does the hospital decide who should be his medical advocate
or representative? This type of situation makes HIPPA invaluable; however, HIPPA should be
administered responsibly, not with indifference. While this can be time-consuming for hospital staff
it can aid immensely in reducing stress on family members and also guarantees that the right person
gets the accurate information and is able to act appropriately on the patient's behalf.
In some situations the behavior of some hospital staff members is purely frustrating and aids in creating
family conflict! This is the reason why all of us, before we are ever ill, should identify in writing --
those person or persons, in order of priority, who we have designated to act on our behalf should
we become incapacitated and cannot make decisions on our own, or of our own free will.
This is particularly important when there are adult children and no spouse involved, or in the case
of elderly parents. Not all adult children have equal standing in many families, and it is particularly
difficult when hospital staff have to speak with multiple family members. 
It is always best to have one or two specific designees. There might also be designees for
different aspects of the patient's care and level of the decision-making process. 
All of these must be sorted out and decided upon before they are needed.  Existing family conflicts
can hinder rather than help patients at the most critical times.  Talk about this in YOUR Family now.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS AS A PATIENT: Visit the links below

OneWorld Progressive Institute:

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