Zarrillo, Osvaldo Pablo v. Instituto Nacional de Servicios Sociales para Jubilados y Pensionados et al.

Z. 215. XXXIX.
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The plaintiff filed a suit against the National Institute of Social Services for Retiree [Instituto Nacional de Servicios Sociales para Jubilados y Pensionados] and Prestaciones Médico Asistenciales
S.A. [PAMI] for the reimbursement of the surgical procedure the plaintiff had to go through in a Hospital that wasn’t designated by the health insurance company. This occurred because the plaintiff had a left renal carcinoma that had to be operated in the Hospital “Sanatorio San Patricio” that was designated by the respondent. The plaintiff refused to receive blood transfusions because he was a Jehovah Witness and wanted to receive the surgery without any blood transfusion. For this purpose he signed a document of “Exoneration of responsibility” were he exonerated the medical personnel that performed the surgery without blood transfusions. Anyway, the Hospital to avoid any responsibility by performing a surgery without blood transfusions requested judicial authorization. The First Instance Civil Court dismissed the case and didn’t grant the authorization.

The patient considered that the Hospital “Sanatorio San Patricio” was making delays to perform the surgery so he reached to another Hospital “Sanatorio Santa Isabel de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires” that was not delivering the services of PAMI were he got the surgery without blood transfusions.

The plaintiff filed an appeal to the Court of Appeal which estimated that the case was now abstract because he was contradicting himself. The Court of Appeal found that the plaintiff in the Hospital where he got the surgery signed a document where he authorized the blood transfusion. Therefore he couldn’t claim that the Hospital “Sanatorio San Patricio” didn’t comply with its obligation by requiring legal authorization to perform the surgery without blood transfusions because when he went to the other Hospital “Sanatorio Santa Isabel de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires” he authorized the blood transfusion. The Court of Appeal also found that the health professionals and the respondent were not responsible for requesting a judicial authorization because they wanted to act according to the law and not to violate their medical duties. After the patient died, the daughter of the plaintiff filed a extraordinary appeal with the Supreme Court of Justice which was dismissed and filed a claim to the same Court.

The Supreme Court of Justice found that the extraordinary appeal was inadmissible by article 280 of the National Civil and Commercial Procedure Code.

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