Um, no it wouldn’t.
Hypothetically, what if a bystander was shot in a convenience store hold-up, and would have survived under adequate medical care - but the doctor treating them screwed up in some major way, and the bystander died? Under your standard, the doctor wouldn’t be held liable for malpractice, because the “root cause” was the shooting. Sure, the shooter should be punished, but that doesn’t mean the doctor gets a free pass on any subsequent negligence. Or at least that’s nothing like how the system works, since virtually any medical malpractice claim stems from a previous medical problem with some other cause.
If a medical practitioner fucks up in treating a patient, it’s called malpractice. It’s certainly not standard practice to say that the doctor would never have gotten the chance to screw up in the first place if the patient had never been ill. The logical result of your argument, if you stop and think about it, is that virtually all medical malpractice claims would have to be dropped. Basically, the entire concept of medical malpractice should be scrapped. Do you want to start that argument? I certainly don’t know enough about the subject to truly debate it, but based on your own evaluation of this situation, I’m guessing you, EJsGirl, don’t either.
Assume (this section no longer specifically directed at EJsGirl), for the sake of argument, that the people treating the woman somehow fucked up. None of us, of course, are equipped to even guess at that, but we can all be fairly sure that the court took that small matter into account in making its decision. Then, logically, if we aren’t holding them liable, it means that either: (1) doctors are practically never to be held liable when they screw up, since there’s virtually always some previous, underlying problem being treated, or (2) this case is special, because the woman caused the problem herself, rather than being the victim of someone else’s actions or of circumstance. If you go for option (2), then you’re essentially saying that those who attempt suicide are simply not entitled to the same standard of care as the rest of us. I find that morally repugnant, but it’s at least a consistent position to argue. (Though we run into the question of how far to take it. If a surgeon leaves a glove in a patient during a bypass procedure, is he off the hook because the patient wouldn’t have needed a bypass if they hadn’t spent their life eating saturated fat?)
None of us have even the barest hint of the information that the court evaluated in making it’s decision. You can decide, if you want, that the ambulance’s failure wasn’t adequately proven in court. But, if you make that decision, be sure to realize that you’re making an extraordinary claim - a malpractice judgment was made without actually establishing that malpractice occurred - with absolutely no evidence to back your position up. We don’t have the facts in this newspaper article to even guess at what information was taken into account in coming to a verdict. It strikes me as arrogant and, frankly, feeble-minded to assume because we can’t see for ourselves (based on one newspaper article) that the decision was correct that the decision must therefore have been wrong.
It’s not, but I suppose I should give up hope that it will happen. Once the magic words “frivolous lawsuit” are uttered, people’s brains seem to turn off.
My God, I’ve started seeing the fnords!
. . .