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Nursing

Fundamentals of Nursing -2

Legal Aspects of Nursing - 1Legal Aspects of Nursing - 2
Law sum total of rules and regulations by which society is governed. Created by the people and exists to regulate all persons.
Constitutional Law supreme law of the country – federal government. Creates legal rights and responsibilities and is the foundation for a system of justice
Legislation (Statutory Law) laws enacted by the legislation are called statutory laws. Federal laws supersede state laws; state laws supersede local laws. Regulation of nursing is a function of state law. State legislatures pass statutes that define & regulate “nurse practice acts"
Administrative Law when state legislature passes a law, an administrative agency is given authority to create rules and regulations to enforce the statutory laws.
Common Law evolves from court decisions. Courts adhere to the doctrine of stare decisis “to stand by things decided,” usually referred to as “following precedent.”
Public Law body of law that deals with relationships between individuals and government / governmental agencies
Criminal Law actions against safety and welfare of the public
Private Law or Civil Law deals with relationship amongst private individuals
Contract Law involves enforcement of agreements among private individuals or the payment of compensation for failure to fulfill agreements
Tort Law duties and rights among private individuals that not based on contractual agreements (ex. malpractice, invasion of privacy).
Civil Actions Deal with relationships among individuals in society.
Criminal Actions Deal with disputes between an individual and the society as a whole.
Litigation Action of a lawsuit.
Litigators Lawyers who participate in lawsuits
Complaint Document filed by plaintiff
Plaintiff Person who claims that his legal rights have been infringed
Defendants Persons or entities claimed by plaintiff to have infringed his rights
Answer Written response made by defendants
Discovery Both parties engage in pretrial activities, in an effort to obtain facts of the situation.
Trial All relevant facts are presented to a jury or only to a judge.
Decision Rendered by Judge
Verdict Rendered by Jury
Burden of proof Duty of proving an assertion of wrongdoing
Expert witness Special training, experience or skill in relevant area and allowed by court to offer an opinion in some issue within in his or her area of expertise
Credentialing Process of determining and maintaining competence in nursing practice. One way of maintaining standards. Includes licensure, certification and accreditation.
License Legal permit that the government agency grants to individuals to engage in the practice of a profession and use a particular title
Mutual recognition model Allows multistate licensure
Interstate Compact or Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) Mechanism used to create mutual recognition among states.
Certification Voluntary practice of validating that an individual nurse has met minimum standards of nursing competence in specialty areas such as maternal-child health, pediatrics etc.
Standards of Care Skills and learning commonly possessed by members of a profession. Legal guidelines for nursing practice.
Contract Agreement between two or more competent persons, on sufficient consideration (remuneration), to or not to do some lawful act.
Implied contract Not be explicity agreed to by the parties but the law nevertheless considers to exist
Liability Quality or state of being legally responsible for one's obligations and actions and make financial restitution for wrongful acts
Contractual obligations Nurse's duty of care, that is, duty to render care, established by the presence of an expressed or implied contract
Contractual relationships Vary among practice settings. Nurse-Client, Employer-Employee
Respondent Superior Let the master answer ie, employer assumes responsibility for the conduct of the employee
Right Priviliege or fundamental power to which an individual is entitled unless it is revoked by law or given up voluntarily
Responsibility Obligation associated with a right
Strike Organized work stoppage by a group of employees to express grievance, enforce demand for changes in conditions of employment, or solve a dispute with management
Informed Consent Agreement by client to accept a course of treatment of procedure after being provided complete information, including the benefits and risks of a treatment.
Express consent Oral or written agreement
Implied Consent Individuals nonverbal behavior indicates agreement
Delegation transfer of responsibility for performance of an activity from one person to another while retaining accountability for the outcome
Mandated reporters A person who can assess and identify cases of violence against others. They must report the situation to appropriate authorities
Impaired Nurse Nurse whose ability to perform functions of a nurse is diminished by chemical dependency on drugs, alcohol or mental illness
Advance health care directives Include variety of legal and lay documents that allow persons to specify aspects of care they wish to receive should they become unable to make or communicate their preferences
Living Will Provides specific instructions about what medical treatment the client chooses to omit or refuse in the event the client is unable to make those decisions
Health care proxy also known as Durable power of attorney for health care. Is notarized or witnessed statement to appoint someone else to manage health care decisions
Autopsy Postmortem examination - examination of body after death.
Do Not Resusitate (DNR) or "no code" order for clients who are in the stage of terminal, irreversible illness ore expected death and expressed wish for no resusitation in an event of a cardiac or respiratory arrest
Euthanasia Act of painlessly putting to death persons suffering from incurable or distressing disease.
Inquest Legal inquiry into cause of manner of a death.
Coroner Public official, not necessarily a physician, appointed or elected to inquire into the death, where appropriate.
Medical Examiner Physician, usually has advanced education in pathology or forensic medicine.
Crime Act committed in violation of publc (criminal) law and punishable by a fine or imprisonment.
Felony Crime serious in nature, such as murder, punishable by a term in prison.
Manslaughter Second-degree murder
Misdemeanor Offense of a less serious nature and is usually punishable by a fine or short-term imprisonment, or both.
Tort Civil wrong committed against a person or person's property.
Negligence Misconduct or practice that is below the standard expected of an ordinary, reasonable, and prudent person.
Created by: deesee on 2007-09-25



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