In 1931, Universal Pictures released the classic film Frankenstein to terrified audiences. While the film itself dealt with dark and fantastic horrors, the narrative was symbolic of very real human problems. The plot could even even be considered reflective of the dangers of medical malpractice. No one should smirk at the notion the dark fantasy feature presents a few legal lessons. The film provides a number of situations to ponder on when wondering about filing a medical malpractice personal-injury case. Dr. Frankenstein, after all, did make many mistakes when putting the monster together. An injured patient can learn a bit from these cinematic mistakes.
What were some of the most disastrous medical decisions in the classic film?
Transplanting the Wrong Brain
Dr. Frankenstein "outsourced" the stealing of the brain to his assistant Fritz. Fritz, in turn, brought the doctor a criminal brain. A doctor is supposed to maintain proper oversight of all actions related to the patient. Fritz's error does not free the doctor, since the doctor is supposed to make sure all proper procedures are followed. And if a doctor was lied to by an assistant, the hospital could be held liable for the actions of an employee. Ultimately, any and all negligent actions open the door for a personal-injury suit—malpractice included.
Not Caring for the Monster
When Dr. Frankenstein discovers that he has created an uncontrollable monster, the doctor does nothing that would effectively address the monster's actions. He brought the creation to life and then left the being to fend for itself. A doctor cannot ignore or abandon a patient. While outrageously melodramatic, Dr. Frankenstein's neglect is not far removed from traditional malpractice actions. Discharging a patient too quickly or failing to make a proper diagnosis is little more than performing partial care and, in essence, leaving a patient to fend for him or herself. That is malpractice.
Causing the Monster's Rampage
The Frankenstein Monster exists because the doctor brought him to life. The creature ended up going on a rampage that cost several people their lives. Prescribing the wrong medicine to a patient who gets into a car accident could be deemed a form of malpractice that extends beyond the patient-doctor relationship. Third parties injured due to the doctor's malpractice may be able to sue as well.
Frankenstein is an outstanding film known for its timeless and amazing scares. The thought-provoking film should lead some to think about the dangers of medical malpractice and to take legal action upon being the victim of it.Share