Malpractice

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Common complaints about doctors (note) include:
failure to attend or treat a patient;
failure to refer a patient to another doctor who is a specialist in the relevant
disease or injury;
failure to explain medical treatment and warn the patient of the risks of this
treatment;
failure to advise on the options for medical treatment;
wrongful diagnosis;
failure to revise an initial diagnosis;
failure to remove a surgical instrument from the patient's body following an
operation;
failure to arrange a follow-up session or further tests for the patient;
incompetence.
Over the years ]oseph, Creenwald S Laake successfully resolved many cases involving medical malpractice
for adults, children and newborns. As examples - the following is a short list of some of the types of medical
malpractice cases the firm has successfully handled:
Anesthesia Negligence - While attempting intubation via specialized means in a patient with a difficult
airway, an anesthesiologist with limited experience in procedures over sedated patient resulting in
respiratory arrest and death when the physician was unable to maintain the airway and could not
resuscitate the patient with the available equipment.
ardiology Negligence - !nappropriate use of clot busting agents when surgery should have been
performed to restore blood flow to patient's leg, resulting in fatal cerebral hemorrhage.
ental Negligence - Failure to properly treat impacted tooth with antibiotics, resulting in dental infection
spreading into brain and causing paralysis.
4ergency Nedicine Negligence - Failure to diagnosis heart attack in a S0 year old patient with
diabetes and who did not have classic symptoms, resulting in death.
4ergency Nedicine Negligence - Failure to monitor teenage motorcycle accident patient resulting in
failure to diagnose signs of delayed cerebral bleeding and patient's death.
a4ily Nedicine Negligence - Failure to suspect meningitis in a teenage patient resulting in untreated
infection and death.
ynecology Negligence - Failure to perform appropriate lower risk gynecological surgery in a patient
who because of multiple prior abdominal surgeries had significant scar tissue which created high risk for
bowel perforation, resulting in need to perform colostomy.
ynecology Negligence - Failure to timely look for bowel perforation following cesarean section,
resulting in very advanced infection, sepsis and death.
ospital Negligence - Nurses failed to properly monitor a patient postoperatively following female
surgery. Patient developed breathing problems which went undetected resulting in death.
ospital Negligence - Failure by ¨house officer" to notify surgeon of patient's sore throat and voice
changes following neck disc surgery, and Hospital's failure to have proper equipment in surgical ward results
in patient's death from bleeding in neck which caused respiratory obstruction and arrest.
nternal Nedicine Negligence - Failure to treat patient for high blood pressure resulting in hypertensive
stroke and death.
Nursing Negligence - Failure to remove a surgical sponge during surgery causing caused ongoing
abdominal symptoms for many years up until removal.
Nursing Negligence-· Failure by nursing to properly monitor an infant's breathing when the child was
receiving narcotics following surgery, resulting in prolonged respiratory arrest and severe brain injury.
Nursing Negligence - Operating Room nurse's failure to properly position surgical patient for female
surgery causing permanent severe nerve damage to nerve in patient's leg.
Nursing Negligence - A Nurse negligently pulled out a urinary catheter on a male patient without first
deflating the balloon which anchored the catheter inside the bladder. This resulted in incredible pain and
damage to the internal structures.
Nursing o4e Negligence - Failure to properly treat brain injured or aged patients - resulting in
malnutrition, pressure ulcers and death.
Neurosurgery Negligence - Failure to properly treat local wound infection in skull following surgery to
remove benign tumor resulting in severe central nervous system infection and death.
"/stetrician Negligence - Nany child birth cases and complications of child birth: Both C·sections and
natural deliveries. Complications involving in utero or post delivery care which led to hypoxia, cerebral palsy
and other birth injuries.
"/stetrician Negligence - Failure to diagnose incompetent cervix resulting in pre·term labor and fetal
death.
"/stetrician Negligence - Failure to properly advise a woman after her first cesarean section to consider
dangers of vBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean section) resulting in severe complications of labor in the next
delivery.
"phthal4ology Negligence - Failure to examine patient with an eye injury in the Emergency
Department resulting in rampant infection and loss of an eye.
"rthopedist Negligence - Failure to diagnose a fracture in a young woman after a motor vehicle accident
which led to AvN and the need for multiple hip replacements throughout her lifetime.
"rthopedist Negligence - Failure to diagnose and treat spinal surgical wound infection results in
compromised patient's death.
"rthopedist Negligence - Failure to properly treat infection in a patient following surgery for leg fracture
suffered in a fall, resulting in amputation.
#athology Negligence - Failure to diagnose cancer on microscopic examination, resulting in death of a
middle aged woman whose cancer was 36º curable if it had been diagnosed properly.
#athology Negligence - !ncorrect diagnosis of cancer when no cancer existed leading to unnecessary
surgery.
#lastic Surgery Negligence - Failure to consider the blood supply that would remain following removal of
breast implants, resulting in destruction and loss of breasts and need for total breast reconstruction.
#ul4onology Negligence - Lung specialist misdiagnoses patient with severe asthma and prescribes very
high dose inhaled steroid as treatment resulting in Cushing's syndrome resulting complications.
%adiology Negligence - Neurology Negligence · Failure to diagnose or timely treat intracranial
aneurysms which burst causing subarachnoid hemorrhage, stroke and traumatic brain damage.
%adiology Negligence - Failure to diagnose a fracture on x·ray resulting in patient fracture becoming
displaced.
%adiology/ynecology Negligence - Failure to diagnose breast cancer.
Surgery Negligence - Failure to properly trace anatomical landmarks in gall bladder surgery, resulting in
cutting and clipping of wrong structures and need for very extensive reconstructive billiary surgery.
Surgery Negligence - Failure to diagnose and treat bowel obstruction on a timely basis leading to
patient's death.
Surgery Negligence - Failure to detect bowel perforation resulting in prolonged leakage and sepsis.
Surgery Negligence - Burns suffered by patient in operating room.
'rau4a Surgery Negligence - Failure to properly treat multitrauma patient to prevent pulmonary
embolism which caused patient's death.



Nursing malpractice can be defined as negligence on the part of nurses which brings
physical or emotional damage to the patient under their care. This includes mistakes while
assisting in the delivery of a child, failures with medications, or causing any loss and/or
injury by not working well.
Below are key elements of a nursing malpractice case that should always be taken in mind:
1. Standard of care. Basically, standard of care is the nurturing and concerned behavior of a
careful or prudent health care specialist that they provide in all circumstances. Nurse
Practice Acts, State Boards of Nursing, and Nursing Departments generally have made
policies and procedures regarding standards of care that guide nurses and ancillary staff in
almost all patient care situations they may face.
Standard of care can help the nurses prevent making fatal mistakes such as:
1. Failure to assess patient's condition such as blood pressure, vital signs, or blood glucose
levels on time
2. Inability to take proper action or notify physicians when there are significant changes in
the patient's condition
3. Commitment of medication and/or documentation errors
4. Misusing a medical device or gadget
5. Failure to perform a procedure
Proper demonstration of standards of care means absence of malpractice in the work place.
2. Duties and responsibilities. Once a nurse accepts assignments, whether they are reports
to accomplish, patient care, or doctor assistance, she has already agreed to take
responsibilities for those activities. By accepting the assigned patients, for example, the
nurse has assumed a duty to take care of and treat the patient with a high degree of skill,
care, and diligence acquired or exercised by experienced, competent, and careful nurses.
3. Customer concern. All nurses should bear in mind that the patients are there because
they have special needs and that they are the ones responsible in giving the patients those
needs. Nurses show love and respect as if the patients are a close relative of theirs. Once
the nurses start developing positive feelings towards their patients, the tendency is that
they would treat them the way they deserve to be, and they will not be able to commit any
misconduct.
WIuL Is u MedIcuI MuIprucLIce Cuse WIere You Cun ExpecL JusLIce?
Determining whether or not a case oI medical negligence is 'meritorious¨, or valid in a legal sense, requires
breaking down the details oI the case to Iind out iI certain required elements are present. Generally speaking, it must
be shown that 1. a signiIicant injury occurred to the patient, 2. the doctor or hospital staII perIormed in a way that
was not up to the standard oI care expected Irom such a medical proIessional, and 3. the lack oI care or medical
mistake directly caused the injury suIIered by the patient.
OI course, in the real world, proving that all these elements are present is a diIIicult proposition. In order to get a
better understanding oI what is needed to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit, a Iew examples are listed below.
Error In AnesLIesIu
A patient undergoing surgery is given an anesthetic which, due to a previous treatment, poses an increased risk oI
use. As a result oI using the anesthetic, the patient suIIers liver damage and dies.
In this case all three elements are present. Injury, medical negligence and cause. Had the patient not died and
perhaps recovered quickly, the negligent act is still present in that the doctor administered anesthesia incorrectly, but
there is no case, per medical malpractice tort law, because there is no injury.
A DocLors MIsLuke DurIng CIIIdbIrLI
During her delivery, a patient suIIers umbilical cord prolapse, which poses a serious threat to the liIe oI the baby iI a
c-section is not perIormed immediately. The doctor Iails to act in a timely manner, delaying the c-section. As a
result oI the delay, the baby suIIers brain damage.
II the doctor had acted in a timely Iashion as is standard, the baby would not have been harmed.
UndIugnosed HeurL DIseuse
A patient suIIering chest pain due to coronary artery disease, and an impending heart attack, is evaluated in the
emergency room, where a doctor Iails to diagnose his condition. As a result, the patient is sent home and suIIers a
massive heart attack and dies.
In this case, the doctors Iailure to correctly treat the patient resulted in his death. Alternatively, had the patient gone
to another hospital and been treated correctly, the Iirst doctor is still negligent in his treatment, but since the injury
was avoided due to the persistence oI the patient, there would be no damages Ior which to seek compensation.
A DocLors ¡uIIure Lo DIugnose Cuncer
A woman with early stages oI breast cancer goes to see her doctor Ior a check up, during which she mentions a small
lump in her breast. The doctor Iails to properly test Ior cancer. One year later, the cancer had spread signiIicantly,
she is Iorced to go through many months oI chemotherapy and ends up losing a breast.
In this case, the Iirst doctor can be held liable Ior a Iailure to diagnose cancer, and will be responsible Ior paying Ior
all the medical expenses, loss oI chance oI survival, loss time Irom work, emotional distress and the pain and
suIIering involved.
MIsdIugnosIs oI DVT
A patient suIIering deep vein thrombosis (a blood clot in the deep vein oI the leg) goes to see his doctor about some
pain and swelling in his leg. The doctor misdiagnoses the symptoms as a simple leg cramp. One week later, the
blood clot is dislodged leading to a pulmonary embolism and death oI the patient.
Again, the doctor`s Iailure to diagnose the patient`s illness correctly led to an otherwise avoidable death, Ior which
the doctor can be held accountable.
¡uIIure Lo TreuL AppendIcILIs
A patient suIIering abdominal pain is taken to the emergency room. The doctor Iails to diagnose appendicitis and
sends the patient home. AIter several hours, the patient goes into shock and dies.
The doctors Iailure to recognize the signs oI appendicitis and act appropriately was a direct cause oI the patients
death, and a claim Ior medical negligence can be Iiled.
,25es of Medic, M,57,ctice Inc:de:
O Delayed Cancer Diagnosis
O Wrongful Death
O Paralysis
O Amputation
O Birth Trauma
O Brain Ìnjured Ìnfants
O Ìnappropriate or Negligently Performed Surgery
O Misdiagnosis of Disease or Ìnjury
O Disability
O Disfigurement
Ìf any health care provider fails to act as a "reasonably competent physician, surgeon or health care
provider would in the same or similar circumstances in the diagnosis or treatment of a patient",
malpractice occurs.
Examples of Medical Malpractice Cases
Because medical malpractice cases are so difficult to prove, it is important that the case has
merit. In some cases, malpractice by the health care professional occurs, but the act does
not cause the injury. Although it is very unfortunate that the healthcare professional
breached their duty to the patient, it does not make for a strong medical malpractice case.
Strong cases exist when claimants can show that the medical error was the cause of
permanent injury.
The examples below are general instances where medical malpractice might have occurred.
This is certainly not a complete list of all medical mistakes or errors, but is very useful in
providing a level as to what constitutes breach of medical care.
3esthesia
A patient underwent surgery with a certain anesthetic, even though they had previously had
a problem with that anesthetic. The patient suffered greatly or died from the effects of the
anesthetic.
An anesthesiologist runs out of oxygen in the middle of an operation and the patient has a
cardiac arrest.
3ioraphy
An angiography (a test of the arteries) is performed incorrectly and the patient suffers brain
damage.
o3e Fractures
A patient experiences one or multiple fractures. The physician is periodically monitoring
them, but the patient is allowed to walk. The X-rays come back and indicate that the patient
should not be walking and they suffer permanent damage to the body.
A patient experiences a bone fracture that is then improperly set. The result is permanent
damage or disability to their arm, leg, etc.
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ur3 Therapy
A patient with severe burns receives inadequate "burn therapy" and continues to suffer
horribly, both from a pain and aesthetic perspective.
elayed Treatme3t
A physician does not properly detect the existence of a condition, and because of this, the
person is not admitted to the hospital. The condition becomes worse but the hospital does
not admit them. By the time they receive appropriate treatment it is too late to save them.
elivery of Childre3
A woman experiences complications during delivery. She requires a C-section but the
attending physician delays this step. The baby develops Cerebral Palsy as a direct result.
A baby with a metabolic disorder suffers some degree of brain damage after they are
misdiagnosed and/or monitored during the delivery process.
The healthcare personnel fail to detect that a child was born with a blood problem-Rh
incompatibility-antibodies (which destroy the blood in the baby).
iet
A patient has just undergone an operation for a head injury. Despite a physicians orders
that a patient is to receive no food orally, the physicians assistant nonetheless feeds them
by mouth. This error results in serious brain damage.
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ru ddictio3
A patient has an operation that turns out to be unnecessary. Following the operation, the
patient becomes addicted to painkillers, drugs, etc.
ru Reactio3
A patient is given the wrong medication, despite the fact that the proper medication is on
the chart. The patient suffers a serious drug reaction that causes permanent damage to the
patient.
Experime3tal Therapy
An experimental therapy is undertaken with the purpose of providing relief from a medical
malady. The operation or therapy results instead in a serious disability, neurological
problem, or permanent damage to the brain.
eart Surery
A patient undergoes a heart procedure that ultimately proves to be unnecessary. The
surgery results in improper valve function, a blood clot, etc., which causes long-term health
problems for the victim.
emorrhai3
A hospital patient hemorrhages either from an injury or after a surgical procedure. The
hemorrhaging goes undetected and inadequate reaction and treatment by hospital staff
results in the patients death or permanent damage.
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ysterectomy
A patient undergoes a routine hysterectomy that goes awry and results in a severance of
the ureters. This is not detected and it causes the loss of the patients kidney.
A womans hysterectomy results in severe bleeding. The result is additional surgeries and
costly and time-consuming complications.
3adequate Medicatio3
A patient with a severe health condition is prescribed medication that turns out to be grossly
inadequate. The condition worsens, yet the doctor does not make the appropriate changes
to their medication. The result is long-term damage or death.
3fectio3s
A surgical procedure is performed that results in an unnoticed infection. When it is finally
discovered, the treatment is delayed and a further surgery is needed. The result is
permanent damage or disability to the patient.
ab Errors
The results of a laboratory test indicate a benign condition when, in fact, the results indicate
something much more serious. By the time the mistake is discovered, there has been
permanent damage done to an individual.
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Misdia3oses
The physician failed to properly diagnose a patients cancer. The patient therefore does not
take the necessary steps to cure the cancer and eventually succumbs to the disease.
A patient has appendicitis that is not diagnosed by their physician. The appendix ruptures
and kills the patient.
A patient ingests a poisonous substance without knowing it. The physician incorrectly
diagnoses the problem and the patient experiences permanent damage or dies.
A physician informs a patient that their condition is much less severe than it turns out to be.
By the time the severity of the problem is known there has been permanent injury.
A young child swallows a metal object that goes undetected by the doctor and the child
dies.
An eye doctor diagnoses an eye condition without properly examining a patient. The
misdiagnosis eventually leads to the patient losing their eyesight.
!riapism
A patient is given a diagnostic spinal tap, causing him to experience priapism (an extended
and painful erection of the penis). The treatment does not occur promptly and afterwards
the condition causes a degree of impotency and/or impairs the ability to urinate.
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Spi3al Surery
A patient undergoes spinal surgery to remove a disc. During the operation, nerve damage
occurs that, despite additional surgeries, is unable to be cured. The patient therefore has to
live with back pain.
During back surgery, the spinal canal is accidentally punctured and the patient either suffers
a serious disability or long-term pain.
A patient undergoes back surgery, but a tear in the covering of the spinal cord is not
detected. The patient develops spinal meningitis and dies.
Stomach Surery
A patient has an operation to remove a section of their stomach. Complications ensue and
further surgeries are required that end up causing permanent health issues and/or
disability.
A patient undergoes an unnecessary operation. The result is additional operations that lead
to a prolonged period of disability.
Tra3sferred without Co3se3t
A patient is transferred from one hospital to another without consent of the attending
physician. While the transfer is occurring, they suffer a serious complication or brain
damage.
&3co3trolled iabetes
As a result of the physicians failure to control the diabetes and/or deficiencies in
potassium, the patient dies.


ConsenL and AuLhorlzaLlon for AuLopsy Addressograph or ÞaLlenL name / PosplLal number
1he College recommends LhaL each paLhology group develop lLs
own speclflc consenL form Lallored Lo appllcable lawţ lnsLlLuLlonal
pollclesţ and local pracLlceŦ 1hls auLopsy consenL form ls offered
as Servlce a sLarLlng polnLŦ Þrlor Lo adopLlng a speclflc formţ Lhe
paLhology group should have Lhe form revlewed by an aLLorney
knowledgeable abouL appllcable law and senslLlve Lo local
pracLlceŦ 1he group should also have Lhe form revlewed by
approprlaLe lndlvlduals wlLhln any lnsLlLuLlon ln whlch auLopsles wlll
be performedŦ
Servlce
ALLendlng Þhyslclan
uaLe of deaLh 1lme of deaLh
lţ (prlnLed name) ___________________________________ţ Lhe (relaLlonshlp Lo Lhe deceased)
____________ of Lhe deceasedţ
_____________________________________ţ belng enLlLled by law Lo conLrol Lhe dlsposlLlon of Lhe
remalnsţ hereby requesL Lhe
paLhologlsL of (name of hosplLal) _____________________________ Lo perform an auLopsy on Lhe body
of sald deceasedŦ l
undersLand LhaL any dlagnosLlc lnformaLlon galned from Lhe auLopsy wlll become parL of Lhe deceased's
medlcal record and wlll be
sub[ecL Lo appllcable lawsŦ
eLenLlon of Crgans/1lssuesť
l auLhorlze Lhe removalţ examlnaLlonţ and reLenLlon of organsţ Llssuesţ prosLheLlc and lmplanLable
devlcesţ and flulds as
Lhe paLhologlsLs deem proper for dlagnosLlcţ educaLlonţ quallLy lmprovemenL and research purposesŦ l
furLher agree Lo Lhe evenLual
dlsposlLlon of Lhese maLerlals as Lhe paLhologlsLs or Lhe hosplLal deLermlne or as requlred by lawŦ 1hls
consenL does noL exLend Lo
Lhe removal or use of any of Lhese maLerlals for LransplanLaLlon or slmllar purposesŦ l undersLand LhaL
organs and Llssues noL
needed for dlagnosLlcţ educaLlonţ quallLy lmprovemenLţ or research purposes wlll be senL Lo Lhe funeral
home or dlsposed of
approprlaLelyŦ
l undersLand LhaL l may place llmlLaLlons on boLh Lhe exLenL of Lhe auLopsy and on Lhe reLenLlon or
organsţ Llssueţ and
devlcesŦ l undersLand LhaL any llmlLaLlons may compromlse Lhe dlagnosLlc value of Lhe auLopsy and may
llmlL Lhe usefulness of Lhe
auLopsy for educaLlonţ quallLy lmprovemenLţ or research purposesŦ l have been glven Lhe opporLunlLy
Lo ask any quesLlons LhaL l
may have regardlng Lhe scope or purpose of Lhe auLopsyŦ
LlmlLaLlons
noneŦ Þermlsslon ls granLed for a compleLe auLopsyţ wlLh removalţ examlnaLlon and reLenLlon of
maLerlals as Lhe paLhologlsLs
deem proper for Lhe purposes seL forLh aboveţ and for dlsposlLlon of such maLerlal as Lhe paLhologlsLs or
Lhe hosplLal deLermlneŦ
Þermlsslon ls granLed for an auLopsy wlLh Lhe followlng llmlLaLlons and condlLlons (speclfy)ť
SlgnaLure of person auLhorlzlng Lhe auLopsy uaLe 1lme
SlgnaLure of person obLalnlng permlsslon ÞrlnLed name of person obLalnlng permlsslon
SlgnaLure of wlLness ÞrlnLed name of wlLness
Þermlsslon was obLalned by LelephoneŦ
1he above sLaLemenLs were read by Lhe person obLalnlng permlsslon Lo Lhe person granLlng permlsslonŦ
1he person granLlng
permlsslon was provlded Lhe opporLunlLy Lo ask quesLlons regardlng Lhe scope and purpose of Lhe
auLopsyŦ 1he underslgned
llsLened Lo Lhe conversaLlon wlLh Lhe permlsslon of Lhe parLles and afflrms LhaL Lhe person granLlng
permlsslon gave consenL Lo Lhe
auLopsy as lndlcaLed aboveŦ
SlgnaLure of person obLalnlng permlsslon ÞrlnLed name of person obLalnlng permlsslon
SlgnaLure of WlLness ÞrlnLed name of WlLness
uaLe 1lme
lnS1DC1lCnSť 1o be valldţ Lhls documenL 1) musL be daLedţ 2) musL be slgned by Lhe person obLalnlng
permlsslonţ Anu 3) musL be
slgned elLher by Lhe person granLlng permlsslon or Lhe wlLness monlLorlng Lhe phone call ln whlch
permlsslon was glvenŦ


!are3tal Medical Co3se3t
TE !RTES TO TS REEMENT RE:
TE !RENT(s) / &RN(s)
Full Name and Surname:

Identity / Social Security or Other (Specify) number:

Full Name and Surname:

Identity / Social Security or Other (Specify) number:

Physical Address:



Contact Details:



(hereinafter referred to as "the Parent / Guardian")
TE C
Full Name and Surname:

Birth Date / identifying numbers:

(hereinafter referred to as "the Child")
TE TEM!ORRY &RN(s)
Full Name and Surname:

Identity / Social Security or Other (Specify) number:

Full Name and Surname:

Identity / Social Security or Other (Specify) number:

Physical Address:



Contact Details:



(hereinafter referred to as "the Temporary Guardian")
1. I authorize the Temporary Guardian to administer general first aid treatment
for minor injuries or illnesses experienced by the Child except where any such first
aid treatment is specifically excluded hereunder:

2. I authorize the Temporary Guardian, in the event that I cannot be contacted or
if any urgency dictates, to act in loco parentis for the Child in respect of any
circumstances, including any accident or illness, which may necessitate medical
treatment, including surgery, and on my behalf to authorize any such treatment or
surgery which they, in their sole discretion, (which discretion shall not be
unreasonably exercised), may deem necessary. Medical treatment for the Child
may also include dental surgery, x-ray, blood transfusion, anesthetic and
medication provided any such medical treatment is performed by a duly licensed
practitioner. I hereby accept full liability for all costs incurred through such medical
treatment for the Child.
3. Persons responsible should please note the following: (Please state aspects eg.
allergies, tendency towards abnormal bleeding, epilepsy, etc.)



Present prescribed, or other medication that is being administered:


4. The following information is essential in case of medical treatment or
hospitalization:
4.1. Name and Address of Employer:


4.2. Medical Aid / Insurer:

4.2. Policy Number:

5. I declare that I am the legal custodian of the Child and that I have legal
authority to grant medical consent to the Temporary Guardian for the Child.
6. Unless inconsistent with the context, words signifying the singular shall include
the plural and vice versa.
7. This medical consent will be in effect from the _______ day of
___________________20__
until the _____ day of ______________________20__

Signed at ______________________on this ______day of
_________________20____

SNT&RE _____________________________(Parent / Guardian)

SNT&RE _____________________________(Parent / Guardian)

WITNESS 1: _____________________________

WITNESS 2: _____________________________

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