Originally Posted by jenniferd
I still don't see how not paying for the procedure could be considered murder. And if not performing some procedure on someone could be considered murder, then a lot of doctors and nurses could end up behind bars.
I guess we have to wait and see for any criminal charges, but I am not holding my breath.
I'm not sure either if this is `strictly' a murder case. I think perhaps that the crux of it lies with the issue that had she had the operation, she would have survived (albeit for perhaps only a little longer). Everything was set to go, the donor organ was there, the patient was waiting, and the only
thing that prevented her from having this surgery was the refusal to pay for it by the company. Had this not happened, everything would have gone ahead.
So it is arguable that this one, single incidence led directly to this patient's life ending. In that sense, yes, there is a potential for a criminal charge. Nothing else got in the way of saving this girl's life except for this one factor. The company had to know that refusal to pay could result in death. Knowing this, and refusing anyway, could quite easily constitute a homicide charge.
Note I said `homicide' rather than murder. Even through the different `degrees' of murder, an intent or malice aforethought is required for this charge. Manslaughter (culpable killing which is not murder) or reckless endangerment or any other lesser charge of negligence and knowing endangerment is highly appropriate and I would think most likely to succeed in a case like this.
After all, the company are responsible entirely for her death in this manner. Had she fallen out of bed and sustained a head injury, no. Had she had a heart attack, no. Had she died through lack of a suitable donor, no. But the ONLY reason she died on this day in this manner was because the insurance company wouldn't pay. Are they culpable? You betcha they are.