Knowledge of Laws that regulate and affect nursing practice are needed for what?
- To ensure that the nurse's decisions and actions are consistent with current legal principles
- To protect the nurse from liability
"the sum total of rules and regulations by which society is governed"
Statutory laws or Legislation law
Laws enacted by any Legislative body
Laws evolving court decisions
(disputes between 2 parties)
body of law that deals with relationships between individuals and the government and government agencies.
deals with actions against the safety and welfare of the public.
Ex: homicide, manslaughter, theft
The Nurse Practice Acts falls under which Law?
Legislation (Statutes) Law
Private / Civil Law
body of law that deals with relationships among private individuals.
involves the enforcement of agreements among private individuals or the payment of compensation for failure to fulfill agreements.
defines and enforces duties and rights among private individuals that are not based on contractual agreements.
Ex: negligence, malpractice, invasion of privacy, assault, battery.
deal with the relationships among individuals in society
Ex: man may file a suit against a person who he believes cheated him
deal with disputes between an individual and society as a whole
Ex: if a man shoots a person, society brings him to trial
Difference between Civil and Criminal law
difference is the potential outcome for the defendant. If found guilty in a civil action, such as malpractice, defendant will pay a sum of money. If found guilty in criminal action, defendant may lose money, be jailed, lose nursing license, or be executed.
The action of a lawsuit is called ___________, and lawyers who participate in lawsuits are refered to as ________.
___________ ___________ has special training, experience, or skill in a relevant area and is allowed by the court to offer an opinion on some issue wihtin his or her area of expertise.
is the process of determining and maintaining competence in nursing practice
___________ is a legal permit that government agency grants to individuals to engage in the practice of a profession and to use a particular title.
mutual recognition model
allows for multi state licensure
Ex: a nurse who lives on the border of a state can practice in both states under one license if the adjoining states have an interstate compact.
an agreement between two or more states, also know as nurse licensure compact (NLC)
what are Standards of Care
evaluates the quality of care nurses provide and are guidelines for nursing practice
the quality or state of being legally responsible for one's obligations and actions and for making financial restitution for wrongful acts.
agreement by a client to accept a course of treatment or procedure after being provided complete information.
oral or written agreement
individuals nonverbal behavior indicates agreement.
EX: client who positions their bodies for an injection or cooperates with taking of vital signs infer implied consent.
groups of people that cannot provide consent
- adults with mental capacity of a child w/an appointed guardian
- unconscious or injured in a way that are unable to give consent
- people with mental illness, judged by professionals to be incompetent
Can a patient refuse treatment after signing a consent form?
Absolutely. They can change their mind and cancel the procedure at any time.
transfer of responsibility for the performance of an activity from one person to another while retaining accountability for the outcome
5 rights of delegation
- Right task
- Right circumstances
- Right person
- Right direction and communication
- Right supervision and evaluation
Absence of care necessary o maintain the health and safety of a vulnerable individual such as child or elder.
required by law, to report suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation
nurse's inability to perform essential job functions because of chemical dependency on drugs or alcohol or mental illness.
What are the 2 types of advance health care directives
- the living will
- health care proxy or surrogate
what is the living will
provides specific instructions about what medical treatment the cilent chooses to omit or refuse (e.g. ventilatory support) in the event that the client is unable to make those decisions
what is health care proxy
also known as durable power of attorney for health care, is a notarized or witnessed statement appointing someone else to manage health care treatment decisions when the client is unable to do so
autopsy or postmortem
examination of body after death
what is "no code" or DNR (do no resuscitate)
this is for clients who are in stage of terminal, irreversible illness or expected death. A DNR order is written when the client or proxy has expressed the wish for no resuscitation in the event of a respiratory or cardiac arrest. DNR needs to signed and witnessed by 2 people who can't benefit from the person's will.
Resuscitate means to revive
what is Euthanasia
it is the act of painlessly putting to death, persons suffering from incurable or distressing disease.
Also known as mercy killing
True or False
Euthanasia is legal in United States only if the doctor prescribes and if there is consent of patient and family
False - Euthanasia is legally wrong in US (except Oregon) and can lead to criminal charges of homicide or to a civil lawsuit for withholding treatment or providing an unacceptable standard of care.
legal inquiry into the cause or manner of a death
public official appointed or elected to inquire into the cause of a death
is a physician and usually has advanced education in pathology or forensic medicine
an act committed in violation of public (criminal) law and punishable by a fine or imprisionment
crime of a serious nature such as murder, punishable by a term in prison
second degree murder
EX: a nurse who accidentally gives an additional and lethal dose of a narcotic can be accused of manslaughter
offense of a less serious nature and is usually punishable by a fine or short term jail sentence or both.
civil wrong committed against a person or a person's property
torts are classified as ________ or _________
intentional or unintentional
what are types of unintentional torts
negligence, malpractice, gross negligence
what are types of intentional torts
assault, battery, false imprisionment, invasion of privacy, defamation(libel/slander)
misconduct or practice that is below the standard expected of an ordinary, reasonable and prudent person;
places another person in risk or harm
involves extreme lack of knowledge, skill, or decision making that the person clearly should have known would put others at risk of harm
"professional negligence", occurred while the person was performing as a professional.
key elements to prove LEGAL LIABILITY
- Duty(nurse taking care of that client)
- Breach of Duty (failure to perform standard of care)
- Forseeablity and Causation (link between the nurse's act and injury suffered and its proven)
- Harm or injury (client was injured)
- Damage - clients injury was a result of nurse's failure to carry out the duty
attempt or threat to touch another person unjustifiably
(assault precedes battery)
willful touching of a person (or a person's clothes, or something the person is carrying) that may or may not cause harm. (Touching done without permission, that is embarrassing, or causes injury)
ex; forceful restrain
unjustifiable detention of a person without legal warrant to confine the person
invasion of privacy
direct wrong of a personal nature
communication that is false, or made with a careless disregard for the truth, and results in injury to the reputation of a person.
_________ and _________ fall under defamation
Libel and Slander
defamation by means of print, writing, pictures, internet.
ex; writing in notes that a doctor is incompetent because he didn't respond immediately to a call.
defamation by spoken words,, stating unprivileged or false words by which a reputation is damaged
Ex: nurse to tell client that another nurse is incompetent
incompetence or gross negligence, conviction for practicing without a license, falsification of client records, and illegally obtaining, using, or possessing controlled substances.
true or false
The person who identifies that the incident occurred should complete an incident report even if another person was involved in the incident
true: the person who identifies the incident, reports the incident
3 major elements of an informed consent
- the consent was given voluntarily
- the client was of age and had the capacity and competency to understand
- client was given enough information on which to make an informed decision
Good Samaritan acts
protect health professionals from claims of malpractice when they offer assistance at the scene of an emergency, provided that there is no willful wrongdoing or gross departure from normal standards of care
true or false
When a client is accidentally injured or involved in an unusual situation, the nurse's first responsibility is to notify appropriate agency personnel and then take steps to protect the client.
The nurses first step should be protecting the client and then notifying proper authority