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COMMON LEGAL ISSUE IN MIDWIFERY PRACTICE

KUMPULAN 3 1. MASKAH BT SHUKRI 2. MAZLINA BT MAIDIN 3. MAIZATUL AKEMAN BT MD NOR 4. SITI FATIMAH BT MOHD NOR 5. WAN ZAIDA WAN MD HANAPI

COMMON LEGAL
Legal are intended to reflect popular belief about rightness or wrongness of particular acts. Legal can serve the publics instrument for converting morality into clear-cut social guideline and stipulating punishment s for offenses.

(Beauchamp,2001)

FUNCTIONS OF THE LEGAL IN MIDWIFERY


1. To define relationship among nurses and pregnant mother to declare which action are permitted or not.

2. To describe what complaints may be applied to maintain rules and to whom they may be applied. 3. To get solution to solve the problem related to midwifery problem

PROCURING CONSENT PRIOR TO UNDERTAKING MEDICAL TREATMENT IN MALAYSIA The general legal and ethical principle for adult patients is legally valid consent must be obtained before treatment to a patient is undertaken. In order for the patient's consent to be legally valid, the consent must be informed in nature. This requires the patient to be given sufficient information about the treatment.

The patient must know to what she is consenting. The nature, purpose and inherent risks of the proposed treatment must be understood by the patient.

PATIENT'S CAPACITY TO CONSENT AND THE RIGHT OF A COMPETENT PATIENT'S REFUSAL OF MEDICAL TREATMENT

Legally valid consent depends not only on sufficient information given the patient but also on whether the patient has the capacity to give a valid consent. To have the necessary capacity to give consent, the patient must be able to have sufficient understanding of the nature, purpose and effect of the proposed treatment and the consent must be voluntarily given.

TERMINATION OF PREGNANCY AND RIGHTS OF THE PREGNANT WOMAN IN MALAYSIA

The nature of abortion and its associated decisionmaking process involve sensitive issues for all involved. Thus, it is essential that nurses are able to support and inform their patients when required. The law and professional guidelines must also be clear and comprehensive to direct nurses' actions. Registered nurses in Malaysia "induced non-therapeutic abortion" is considered to be amongst the actions that may amount to an abuse of professional privileges and skills.

TERMINATION OF PREGNANCY AND RIGHTS OF THE PREGNANT WOMAN IN MALAYSIA


According to section 312 of the Penal Code, "whoever voluntarily causes a woman with child to miscarry shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine or both and if the woman is quick with child, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine.

TERMINATION OF PREGNANCY AND RIGHTS OF THE PREGNANT WOMAN IN MALAYSIA


Medical Act 1971 who terminates the pregnancy of a woman if such medical practitioner is of the opinion, formed in good faith, that the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk to the life of the pregnant woman or injury to the mental or physical health or the pregnant woman, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated.

Therefore, abortion will not be an offense under Malaysian law if the above exception is satisfied.

RESPECTING PRIVACY AND JUSTIFICATIONS FOR BREACHING CONFIDENTIALITY IN MALAYSIA

Nurses must respect a patient's privacy and protect the confidentiality of all information gained in the context of the professional relationship. This will help nurses analyze what information should be disclosed to whom and for what reasons.

LEGAL RELATIONSHIP DUE TO BREASTFEEDING


Breast-feeding is not merely nutrition. Unlike blood transfusion or organ donation, it involves a more intimate biological and psychological interaction between the infant and the lactating woman. Breast-feeding of a child not issued from the mother automatically creates a legal relation that in the regard of the Law is no different from that of a son or a daughter. The conditions set by the Law for this relation to hold are the baby suckled must be less than 2 years old, suckling must be from the breast and not milk expressed in a container and at least 5 separate breast feeding sessions must be held.

LEGAL RELATIONSHIP DUE TO PERIOD OF GESTATION


Legal situations arise in which the court must reach a decision based on knowledge of the minimum and maximum periods of gestation. Bleeding or spotting in early pregnancy that is thought to be an abortion or a menstruation can be the cause of the confusion in computing the period of gestation. These need to be revised in view of modern medical knowledge and the availability of sophisticated diagnostic procedures. Eg: ultrasound

WHAT IF A MIDWIFE IS REQUIRED TO ACT AS A WITNESS IN A COURT


If a nurse or midwife is summoned as a witness in a court case she must give evidence. There is no special rule to entitle the nurse or midwife to refuse to testify. If a nurse or midwife refuses to disclose any information in response to any question put to her then a judge may find the nurse or midwife in contempt of court and may ultimately send her to prison.

CONCLUSION
Changes in the legal and ethical frameworks have undoubtedly impacted the nursing profession as nurses are encouraged to take on more responsibility for decision making in the patient care process. It is simply imperative that nurses prepare themselves with the required knowledge so necessary to address the complex legal and ethical issues that have challenged today's professional nurses in Malaysia.

CONCLUSION
Education of nurses about the demands of law and ethics is crucial to nursing practice in order to foster greater accountability, disseminate knowledge and promote personal commitment in providing health care to individuals across their lifespan. Required course offerings in both university and private sector nursing curricula that specifically focus on the appreciation of evolving legal and ethical standards are essential for the maturation and sophistication of nursing as a profession in Malaysia.