In a twist that might be considered bizarre, a massage therapist broke a worldâ€™s record for a continuous massage session that lasted 68 hours. This is actually considered to be medical malpractice.
Interesting, remarkable, stunning and perhaps a tad ridiculous, but in the legal arena back-to-back sessions of massage therapy for 68 hours does have the potential to be considered medical malpractice. This would definitely depend on what state someone happened to live in, but if it could happen in Florida, it may have the chance of happening in Georgia. Stranger things have happened.
More to the point, discerning readers will want to know how in the world massage therapy for 68 hours can be considered to be medical malpractice. This goes to the foundation of what massage therapy is considered to be, and that is a medical service which has physiological effects on the body.
Given that massage does have such a dramatic effect on a body, the massage therapist needs to be alert and aware to all the ramifications of what a clientâ€™s responses to the therapy happen to be. There are, as in many other medical services, contraindications that therapy of this nature should not be done on some injuries or not until certain types of injuries have been present for 48 to 72 hours.
Licensed massage therapists spend hundreds of hours in school learning to identify and properly respond to each of their clientâ€™s medical needs. The focus of that part of their training is that each client is an individual and needs to be treated as such. In other words, cookie cutter therapy would not be proper. In fact, it could be downright dangerous.
If a therapist is going to massage for 68 hours without sleep, it is safe to say that the necessary level of attention that should be paid to a client would not be present. One has to consider what damage may be done by an inattentive and fatigued therapist performing automatically on each client rather than paying attention to individual needs and medical requirements. From a legal point of view this is considered to be performing massage therapy while impaired (sleep deprived, etc.) and it may be a violation of state laws. In addition to that concern, there is the question of ethics involved here as well.
Basically, the major concern in a case like this would be the safety of the client in the hands of a dead-tired therapist who may not be able to concentrate or perform up to the expected, required and usual standards dictated by the massage therapy associations in the state. While this case may be a touch unusual , it certainly may cause some ripples in legal circles.
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Webb & Dâ€™Orazio are Atlanta personal injury lawyers practicing personal injury law, business law, and criminal defense in Atlanta Georgia.