Document Type

Article

Abstract

This article will first provide a brief examination of the economic pressures that market forces bring to bear on HMOs and their decision-making personnel. The objective is to show how the natural effect of normal market forces is to exert a constant pressure towards treatment delays and denials, particularly in the cases of elderly and chronically ill patients. Part III will provide an overview of the existing criminal law as it applies to situations in which death results because someone has violated a legal duty to provide medical treatment. In Part IV, the question of the requisite mental culpability will be discussed. Finally, after concluding that the criminal law provides, in its present state, a rather clear basis for homicide prosecutions of HMO personnel who authorize lethal treatment denials, a short Postscript will consider some further policy implications of HMO homicide prosecutions.