I recently came across an article about the mishandling of a medical incident onboard Holland America’s MS Rotterdam. The wife of the deceased feels that the doctor responded inappropriately to her several calls to his office in which she described her husband’s deteriorating condition. According to her, the doctor even wrote in his notes that the husband was improving, contrary to the evidence and the wife’s observations.
How unfortunate that something like this occurred. From the article, it seems that both the doctor and the nurse acted uncaringly and without regard for the patient. Keep in mind that neither the doctor nor the nurse responded to the charges or are quoted in the article, so we are hearing just one side of the story.
On a recent cruise, we rushed to our next port to evacuate a patient. Obviously, the doctor on this ship had acted in a professional manner and took his job onboard seriously. It appears that the doctor and nurse who didn’t attend to their patient had other priorities while they were on the ship. Perhaps they thought of it as a vacation and their medical responsibilities were secondary. No medical personnel on board should ignore emergencies simply because they happen after regular clinic hours. Their reported behavior is inexcusable.
So what would you do if you had been in a similar situation? What does the fine print say about medical matters? Next time, we will explore those topics.