Legal implications in health care Malpractice: harmful, incorrect, or negligent practice or treatment of a patient by a health care provider. Negligence: failure of a health care provider to perform his/her duties in a responsible manner that results in injury to a patient.
Illegal restraint: holding a person against his/her will by using a restrictive device or other means. Invasion of privacy: the giving out of information about an individual or patient without his/her consent.
Liable: to be legally responsible for failing to perform professional duties to meet the standards of care and/or causing harm or injury. Libel: a written (email is included) statement that provides false information which can cause damage to a person’s reputation. Contract: an agreement between two or more parties
Conduct: the manner in which a person displays his/her behavior. Consent: the giving of one’s permission to another to perform a procedure or action. Breach of contract: the breaking of a promise, agreement, or contract in which parties have agreed upon.
Licensure: legal permission to perform an occupation given by governmental agencies. Privileged communication: a patient’s personal information given to a health care worker that must be kept confidential. Reasonable care: the legal obligation of a health care worker to provide competent care according to the expected standards of practice.
Slander: spoken misrepresentations that are proven false and can damage another’s reputation. Assault: the threatening or attempt to injure a person in an unlawful manner. Battery: the unlawful touching of another that results in injury. Litigation: the determining of a person’s legal rights either by a lawsuit or some form of legal action.
Civil law: a legal relationship between individuals. Criminal law: legal obligations between an individual and society or state. Felony: a more serious crime than a misdemeanor in which the punishment is imprisonment. Misdemeanor: a less serious offense than a felony; may be punishable by a fine or sentencing to a local prison for less than one year. Tort: a civil wrongful act causing harm or injury due to the healthcare worker not performing the standard of care.
Duty of Care - By law, health care workers must perform services in a manner that meets common standards of practice Criminal Law – Defines the legal obligations between an individual and the state or society Litigation – A lawsuit or legal action
Legal documents in healthcare Advanced directive: a written document that specifies if extraordinary measures are to be taken to prolong life if the patient can no longer make his/her own decision.
Living will: a legal document prepared while a person is mentally competent that specifies what his/her wishes are regarding end-of life care. Durable power of attorney: a legal document that designates another person to make health care decisions in the event that the person is mentally or physically incapable of making their own.
Code of Ethics (guidelines for the actions of people in a profession…similar to moral standards) Requires healthcare worker to pursue continuing education and participate in professional activities Requires ethical behavior on the job and in private life Not uniform between professions – what is ethical in one profession may not apply to another
American Hospital Association Patient’s Bill of Rights A patient has the right to refuse treatment to the extent permitted under law and if he or she is fully informed of the medical consequences of refusal A patient has the right to refuse treatment to the extent permitted under law and if he or she is fully informed of the medical consequences of refusal.
A patient has the right to obtain complete and current information concerning his or her diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. If the doctor believes it medically inadvisable to give information to the patient, it must be made available to an appropriate representative of the patient. (i.e. looking at their own chart)
A patient has the right to be informed of any hospital plan to engage in human experimentation affecting his or her care or treatment, and to refuse to participate in such research projects. A patient has the right to reasonable response to his or her request fo(right to the most effective care a hospital can provide)r services.