Medical Malpractice in ITURRALDE v Hilo Medical Center USA

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A close analysis of the case of ITURRALDE vs. HILO MEDICAL CENTER USA reveals some shortfalls and malpractices, from medical practice through to the hearing and determination of the case. This chapter outlines and discusses the legal, polices, healthcare standards, cultural and accountability malpractices identified in the case.

Legal Components

The verdict delivered by the circuit court revealed a lot of legal loopholes. First, the court had apportioned much of the liability to Arturo's pre-existing condition while it is well known that he died due to the negligence of the hospital staff. After the botched surgery, Mr. was always in and out of hospital leading him to contract an infection of the urinal tract. Also, Rosalina suffered emotional distress as a result of the suffering and death of her older brother, yet the court failed to hold Dr. Ricketson and the medical facility liable for the same.

Malpractice Policies

The policy of granting credentials to its staff without proper background checks is detrimental to the quality and safety of healthcare. For instance, Dr. Ricketson was employed by HMC hospital despite a streak of previous cases unprofessionalism like falsification of medical records and lying to the licensing committee. Also, the Hawaii state had previously halted the doctor yet the hospital failed to take the issue into account.

Standard of Care

The events leading to the suffering and death of Mr. Arturo exhibited the poor standards of medical standards at HMC hospital. For example, the patient, Mr. Arturo, was not informed of any development. Worse still, the doctor implanted stainless steel shaft instead of the recommended titanium rods onto the patient. It is also reported that Mr. Arturo contacted an infection while in hospital at Honolulu.

Cultural Backgrounds

Mr. Arturo could not understand English, perhaps that could have been the reason the doctor failed to inform him of the developments. However, the hospital did not put in place measures to cater for persons suffering language barriers like employing translators. A move to provide for people from diverse cultural backgrounds would help save lives. 


An analysis of the verdict delivered by the circuit did not entirely hold HMC hospital and the doctor fully liable for the damages caused to Arturo and Rosalina.

October 13, 2023


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