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    Legally Speaking: Claim of failure to test for cystic fibrosis

     

    The verdict

    A defense verdict was returned.

    Analysis

    During this case, it was revealed that while the patient admitted that she was referred to the medical genetics department for genetic counseling, she claimed she was confused as to whether she was to contact them or they were to contact her and as a result, she did not call for an appointment until shortly before the scheduled procedure. She then claimed she was told there were no counselors available on such short notice right before a holiday. During trial, witnesses for the genetics department testified that counselors were available when the patient called. They provided documentation in the medical record that the patient declined genetic counseling due to the cost of the service. This illustrates the importance of documenting in the record a patient’s decision to not undergo a recommended service and her reasons for declining.

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