LEGAL QUESTIONS: Bedridden and boisterous

April 2005 
Volume 35  Number 4
Pages 24 - 24
  PDF Version Available!

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc. Volume 35(4)             April 2005             p 24 Bedridden and boisterous [LEGAL QUESTIONS: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE]


One of my home health care patients is a bedridden middle-aged man who's getting long-term wound care. He lives with his wife and two teenage children. Clearly, the marriage has been under a lot of stress—the house is usually full of tension when I visit. Once last month, the son answered the door. As I entered, I realized my patient and his wife were having a terrible fight. He was hurling insults and at one point even threw his alarm clock at her, striking her on the leg. I asked them to calm down and examined the wife's leg. The skin was broken and the wound was bleeding, so I cleaned it and applied a dressing .

Now I'm wondering if it was legally risky for me to treat my patient's ...

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