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Health Law Keyed to Furrow
White v. Harris
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*Case Brief Anatomy includes: Brief Prologue, Complete Case Brief, Brief Epilogue
- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
- Case Doctrines, Acts, Statutes, Amendments and Treatises: Identifies and Defines Legal Authority used in this case.
- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
After their fourteen-year-old daughter committed suicide, Plaintiff's sued Fletcher Allen Health Care, Inc. (Defendant) whose psychiatrist was briefly involved with the case of the decedent through a telepsychiatry research study. As part of the study, Plaintiffs and decedent completed pre-assessment documentation, participated in a ninety-minute videoconference session with the psychiatrist, and completed a questionnaire regarding their reaction to using telemedicine. The psychiatrist later completed a consultation evaluation that described decedent and the history of her present illness. The doctor also gave his diagnostic impression of decedent in the evaluation and presented recommendations for her initial treatment plan. Specifically, the evaluation stated that, in accordance with the telepsychiatry research protocol, no follow-up services would be provided and no medication prescriptions would be directly provided by the doctor. The report also explained that the recommended plan of treatment to possibly be implemented was to be considered by decedent's treatment team, including her primary care physician. After the psychiatrist sent his evaluation, he had no further contact with Plaintiffs, decedent, or any member of her treatment team. Following her suicide, Plaintiffs sued alleging that the treatment of decedent by Defendant, among eight doctors and medical care providers, "fell below the standard of care required of reasonably skillful, careful, and prudent professionals," and that she soon died as a result. Defendant moved for summary judgment asserting that its doctor had no duty to decedent when she committed suicide because a doctor-patient relationship had not been established. On the other hand, Defendant argued that any such relationship was formally terminated in writing after their one-time interaction. The trial court agreed that no duty existed at the time of decedent's death and granted summary judgment. Plaintiffs appealed.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
- Holding: Shares the Court's answer to the legal questions raised in the issue.
- Concurring / Dissenting Opinions: Includes valuable concurring or dissenting opinions and their key points.
- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.
- The Brief Prologue closes the case brief with important forward-looking discussion and includes:
- Policy: Identifies the Policy if any that has been established by the case.
- Court Direction: Shares where the Court went from here for this case.