12 Cardozo J. Conflict Resol. 55 (2010-2011)
Deconstructing Dispute Classifications:Avoiding the Shadow of the Law in Dispute System Design in Healthcare

handle is hein.journals/cardcore12 and id is 57 raw text is: DECONSTRUCTING DISPUTE
CLASSIFICATIONS: AVOIDING THE
SHADOW OF THE LAW IN DISPUTE
SYSTEM DESIGN IN HEALTHCARE
Orna Rabinovich-Einy*
INTRODUCTION
A Hispanic man brings his son to an emergency room in Ca-
nada. He waits for a long period of time, over 10 hours, but fails to
receive medical care. Frustrated, he goes to another emergency
room. After another waiting period of several hours with no medi-
cal attention, he takes out a gun. The man threatens to hurt someone
if his son is not treated immediately. The man is shot. He dies.
Later, it is discovered that he held a toy gun that belonged to his son.
A family of immigrants from Ethiopia brings their baby to an
emergency room in Israel. They wait silently for many hours. The
medical team, after treating a long line of vocal patients, finally
reaches the family, only to discover that the baby the mother is hold-
ing in her arms is already dead.
These are two of thousands of comparable stories that have
taken place and continue to occur around the globe. A strong tie
exists between these occurrences, one that extends beyond the ob-
vious connections. Such accounts represent extreme examples of a
category of healthcare-related conflicts that has typically gone un-
noticed in the legal and medical literature, both of which have
tended to focus on malpractice-related disputes. While malpractice
cases have to do with an actual or alleged deviation from the stan-
dard of care in the delivery of medical services that has resulted in
harm to the patient, the category of disputes that this paper high-
* Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Haifa. I am grateful to Sagit Mor for
her insightful ideas and important comments and to the members of the Haifa Forum of Law and
Society for helping me think through some of these issues earlier on. Additional thanks go to
Ms. Reut Cohen for helpful research assistance. This article in general and the examples de-
scribed in particular draw on empirical work I have conducted on doctor-patient disputes as part
of a research project generously funded by a Marie Curie International Reintegration Grant
under the European Commission's Sixth Framework Programme. The views presented in this
paper are my own, and the European Commission is not liable for any use that may be made of
the information contained herein.

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