Dr. Daniel Gilmore
Medical Law and Ethics Section 3
November 10, 2012
Intentional tort: Samuels v. Southern Baptist Hospital
Intentional tort, according to the textbook Medical Law and Ethics, is when a person inflicts pain or injury onto another person intentionally. ”Intentional torts include assault, battery, false imprisonment, defamation of character, fraud, embezzlement, and invasion of privacy.” (Fremgen, 2011)
In 1988 a young girl, Rachelle Harris, who was 16 years old at the time tried to commit suicide on July 4th. She was admitted to the psychiatric unit of Baptist Hospital in Louisiana. Twelve days after Ms. Harris was committed to the psychiatric unit, she was raped by a full-time nursing assistant in that unit (Richards, 2002). According to reports, Ms. Harris, stated that she was asleep and when she woke up the nursing assistant, Raymond Steward, was touching her inappropriately. Ms. Harris was very shaken by this. She told Mr. Steward, while crying, that she was a virgin (Richards, 2002). This didn’t stop him from continuing to touch her. She tried getting away from the nursing assistant by going into the bathroom. This bathroom had no lock so Mr. Steward went into the bathroom and continued to sexually assault Ms. Harris. After the assault was finished Ms. Harris went to the nurse’s station in order to try and use the phone. When she wasn’t allowed to she went into another patient’s room and told her what had happened. This patient described Ms. Harris as being emotional and very upset. The nursing assistant tried to get the patient to calm Ms. Harris down, while trying to say he didn’t do anything. He later left the unit and was terminated the same day because he left without any notice (Richards, 2002). On November 18, 1988 Ms. Harris’ parents filed a suit against the nursing assistant and the hospital. Rachelle Harris ended up winning the suit and was awarded $450,000 for emotional damages caused by the rape. The defendants...