Because of sovereign immunity, a public hospital faces fewer tort allegations than a private hospital. Is this fair? Explain your reasoning. ...[Show More]
3 years ago
Sovereign immunity is a legal doctrine that protects public institutions and government agencies from lawsuits without consent. Public hospitals are considered public entities and are accorded this immunity. On the other hand, private hospitals are not accorded this immunity and are subject to tort claims. On the aspect of whether or not this is fair, it is a matter of further discussion. On the one hand, sovereign immunity for public health institutions is beneficial since it enables services to go uninterrupted without any legal hurdles. Legal hurdles derail the activities of an institution since an institution spends so much time dealing with legal queries as opposed to service delivery.
On the other hand, an immunity to public hospitals can create a sense of lack of accountability and lead to a situation where the hospital can be negligent. Kerr (2020) argues that sovereign immunity is unfair because it protects public hospitals from being held accountable for their actions and makes public hospitals prioritize profits over patient safety. public hospitals should undergo the same scrutiny as private hospitals face. The same liability rules should also apply to private and public hospitals to ensure patients get compensated whenever there is negligence (Kerr,2020).
However, some scholars argue that it is essential for public hospitals to have sovereign immunity since it protects them from numerous litigation that would have hampered service delivery. According to Crocker (2021), when sovereign immunity is given to hospitals, it assists in managing financial risks and ensures that public hospitals continue serving without hindrances. In conclusion, lawmakers and courts should balance the need for accountability and compensation with protecting public hospitals from excessive litigation that may hamper service delivery.
Crocker, K. M. (2021). Qualified Immunity, Sovereign Immunity, and Systemic Reform. Duke LJ, 71, 1701.
Kerr, C. G. (2020). Sovereign immunity, the AU, and the ICC: Legitimacy undermined. Mich. J. Int'l L., 41, 195.
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