Your opinions??

rockin'robin

Well-Known Member
#1
This married couple (lady was hearing/husband deaf), went to the doctor to discuss medical treatment for their young daughter. Whether the interpreter did not show up, was late...still not clear....Anyway, the doctor was talking to the wife, since she was hearing. The husband got up and left....They had been married for several years, and she knew some ASL...so the doctor assumed she would tell her husband all the facts. Instead, the couple turned around and sued the hospital, the husband saying he didn't understand anything...
There was no asking to reschedule the appt. which I feel they should have done...
All in all, the wife could have interpreted to her husband what was being said if they didn't want to reschedule and have an interpreter there.
Your thoughts?.
 

zephren

Active Member
#2
It is sad that people are so quick to sue.

If the doctor's office did book an interpreter and the terp didn't show, that is not their fault. The appointment should have been rescheduled.

If they didn't schedule an interpreter because they didn't know they were supposed to, then that was a miscommunication when the couple made the appointment.

If the doctor though the wife would interpreter, that again seems like a miscommunication if the doctor thought the info would be relayed.

The husband just getting up without any feedback doesn't help the situation.

I don't think this rises to the level of a direct ADA violation yet sadly most likely the hospital will settle this case for an outrageous amount just to make it go away.

I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt if a terp is not there for my appointment or they can't figure out how to get the VRI working especially if I know the office is not used to having Deaf patients. Either I reschedule or sometimes I have taught them how to use the VRI and get it working.

My hearing wife is much more apt to be upset when things do go right with communication than I am. We had a less than great experience recently. I had to calm her. No, we are not going to sue. They have a patient review board. We can file a complaint. I would much rather use it as a teaching opportunity than add to the continual rising cost of health care that is partly due to the need for the medical profession to have high insurance to pay for lawsuits.

BTW...We did discuss what we thought went wrong directly with the doctor so we are not just making a complaint out of the blue. He encouraged us to use the patient review board to let them know about things that didn't happen they way they should have in other parts of the hospital.
 
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rockin'robin

Well-Known Member
#3
It is sad that people are so quick to sue.

If the doctor's office did book an interpreter and the terp didn't show, that is not their fault. The appointment should have been rescheduled.

If they didn't schedule an interpreter because they didn't know they were supposed to, then that was a miscommunication when the couple made the appointment.

If the doctor though the wife would interpreter, that again seems like a miscommunication if the doctor thought the info would be relayed.

The husband just getting up without any feedback doesn't help the situation.

I don't think this rises to the level of a direct ADA violation yet sadly most likely the hospital will settle this case for an outrageous amount just to make it go away.

I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt if a terp is not there for my appointment or they can't figure out how to get the VRI working especially if I know the office is not used to having Deaf patients. Either I reschedule or sometimes I have taught them how to use the VRI and get it working.

My hearing wife is much more apt to be upset when things do go right with communication than I am. We had a less than great experience recently. I had to calm her. No, we are not going to sue. They have a patient review board. We can file a complaint. I would much rather use it as a teaching opportunity than add to the continual rising cost of health care that is partly due to the need for the medical profession to have high insurance to pay for lawsuits.

BTW...We did discuss what we thought went wrong directly with the doctor so we are not just making a complaint out of the blue. He encouraged us to use the patient review board to let them know about things that didn't happen they way they should have in other parts of the hospital.
I concur!...And there are times when an interpreter is not available...for various reasons...so instead of sueing, they should have rescheduled. The appt. the couple had with the doctor was just to discuss their daughter's treatment and tests...Which I feel very confident the wife could have told her deaf husband what was being said. So many deaf are saying "Sue"!...As if a sense of entitlement and demand.
 

Lau2046

Well-Known Member
#4
I concur!...And there are times when an interpreter is not available...for various reasons...so instead of sueing, they should have rescheduled. The appt. the couple had with the doctor was just to discuss their daughter's treatment and tests...Which I feel very confident the wife could have told her deaf husband what was being said. So many deaf are saying "Sue"!...As if a sense of entitlement and demand.
That's because society today makes people believe they're entitled to handouts. Common sense is out the window...
 
#5
I am assuming the doctors office has a computer and the couple had smart phones. the Deaf man could have easily asked for typed communication. Why did the wife not communicate with the husband? Surely you can't be married to a deaf person and not be able to communicate via ASL.
 

Lysander

Well-Known Member
#6
I think this is a bit of a touch call. For one, there are a lot of variables here. Did the office schedule a terp and one didn't show? Did the office not schedule one? Did they think that the wife would interpret? Did the office usually deal with the hearing wife and didn't realize that the husband would be there?

So assuming the couple did everything right, I think the office is at fault. When we schedule someone who is Deaf at my hospital, we are not allowed to use family to interpret. There are some complex medical concepts that we can not be sure a lay person will know how to convey. So even if the office knew the wife could sign, they still should have had an interpreter there to explain things that the wife may not have been able to. Especially if this was presurgical and they were explaining risks of surgery, or something really important.

I do agree that the husband didn't help matters by losing his cool. But at the same time, that had to have been very frustrating and upsetting for him. They were discussing his daughters medical condition and he was left out. Not only would have be frustrating, but it would also be frightening. Imagine having two people standing there in front of you discussing your child and all you can see is their reaction to things without knowing the severity of the situation. I can imagine that would be terrifying.

I don't think that suing would be the answer. Some education. Better preparedness for next time. Those might be the best opportunities to educate. Suing might just make the doctor and office afraid of deaf patients in the future.
 

seb

Well-Known Member
#7
Instead of walking out the husband should of told his wife "we need to reschedule because I don't understand anything that is being said. To me it looks like the couple was counting on this, and when it happened it became an easy way to get some money out of the doctor, hospital or both.
 
#8
no VRI? or google talk? Reschedule and make an appointment. ti will help if the deaf husband gave the receptionist or nurse the name of a sign language interpreting agency. I hear an interpreter who is soso left her calling card at many doctors' office in Frederick, MD.
 

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