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ONGJOCO, ANNE MONIQUE M.

NURSING JURISPRUDENCE

PCHS BSN IV

LEGAL LIABILITIES OF NURSING


NEGLIGENCE o DEFINITION: It refers to the commission or omission of an act, pursuant to a duty, that a reasonably prudent person in the same or similar circumstances would or would not do, and acting or the non-acting of which is the proximate cause of injury to another person or his property. A general term that refers to conduct that does not show due care. o ELEMENTS: Duty Breach of duty Harm Causation o Civil Code, Article 19 One shall act with justice, give every man his due, and observe honesty and good faith. o Civil Code, Article 20 Those who, in the performance of their obligations through negligence cause any injury to another are liable for damages. o Examples: Failure to report observations to attending physicians Failure to exercise the degree of diligence which the circumstances of the particular case demands Mistaken identity Wrong medicine, wrong concentration, wrong route, and wrong dose. o Conditions for Res Ipsa Loquitor That the injury was of such nature that it would normally occur unless there was a negligent act on the part of someone That the injury was caused by an agency within control of the defendant That the plaintiff himself did not engage in any manner that would tend to bring about the injury MALPRATICE o DEFINITION: Implies the idea of improper or unskillful care of a patient by a nurse Denotes stepping beyond ones authority with serious consequences Is a term for negligence or carelessness of professional personnel

ONGJOCO, ANNE MONIQUE M. NURSING JURISPRUDENCE

PCHS BSN IV

Refers to a negligent act committed in the course of professional performance TORT o DEFINITION: A tort is a legal wrong, committed against a person or property independent of a contract which renders the person who commits it liable for damages in a civil action. TYPES: Unintentional- negligence and malpractice Intentional- willful act that violate another rights o Assault is the imminent threat of a harmful or offensive bodily contact. o Battery is an intentional, unconsented touching of another person o Defamation is when the person discusses another individual in terms that diminish reputation Libel Slander o Invasion of privacy is the violation of a persons right to be left alone o False imprisonment is the fringement of upon an individuals freedom of movement. CRIMES o DEFINITION: It is an act committed or omitted in violation of the law. ELEMENTS: Criminal act Criminal intent Conspiracy Exists when two or more persons agree to commit a felony and decide to do it. Criminal Liability Nurse may incur criminal liability or subject herself to criminal prosecution either by committing a felony or by performing an act which would be an offense against person or property. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse for failure to comply therewith. o Classification of criminally liable persons: Principal- takes a direct part in the execution of the act

ONGJOCO, ANNE MONIQUE M. NURSING JURISPRUDENCE

PCHS BSN IV

Accomplice- cooperates in the execution of the offense by previous or simultaneous act. Accessory- has the knowledge of the commission of the crime without having participated. Points in order to avoid criminal liability: o Be very familiar with the Philippine nursing law. o Beware of laws that affecting nursing practice o At the start of employment, get a copy of your job description, the agencys rules, regulations and policies. o Upgrade you skills and competence o Accept only such responsibility that is within the scope of your employment and your job description. o Do not delegate your responsibilities to others. o Determine whether your subordinates are competent in the work you are assigning them. o Develop good interpersonal relationships with your co-workers, whether they be your supervisors, peers or subordinates. o Consult your superior for problems that maybe too big for you to handle. o Verify orders that are not clear to you or those that seem to be erroneous. o The doctors should be informed about the patients conditions o Keep in mind the values and necessity of keeping accurate and adequate records o Patients are entitled to an informed consent.

LEGAL SAFEGUARDS, WRITTEN CONSENT, INCIDENT REPORTS, CONTRACTS, NURSES AND WILLS
WRITTEN CONSENT o Consent of a patient or other recipient of services based on the principles of autonomy and privacy; this has become the requirement at the center of morally valid decision making in health care and research. o CRITERIAS: competence to understand and to decide, voluntary decision making disclosure of material information

ONGJOCO, ANNE MONIQUE M. NURSING JURISPRUDENCE

PCHS BSN IV

recommendation of a plan comprehension of terms decision in favor of a plan, Authorization of the plan. A person gives informed consent only if all of these criteria are met. If all of the criteria are met except that the person rejects the plan, that person makes an informed refusal. INCIDENT REPORT o a document, usually confidential (protected from discovery by a plaintiff in a lawsuit), describing any accident or deviation from policies or orders involving a patient, employee, visitor, or student on the premises of a health care facility. o written document describing inadvertent trauma to a patient, errors or omissions in care, or untoward events happening to staff or visitors. Such a report should be filed as soon after the event as possible. CONTRACTS o Meeting of minds between two persons where they bird themselves to give something or to render some services. NURSES AND WILLS o An act whereby a person is permitted by law to control to a certain degree the disposition of his state, to take effect after his death. o By estate if it is meant the interest which a person has in lands but when personal properties are included- last will and testament. o Decedent is a person whose property is transmitted through succession whether he left will or not; if he left a will he is a TESTATOR. o Will must be written using dialect known and be witnessed by three persons. o Be made by a person 18 years old and is not prohibited by law. o Joint mutual wills are prohibited o Witnesses to wills should be: 18 years old sound mind not deaf or dumb able to read and write a domicile of the Philippines not convicted by falsification of public document not convicted of perjury

ONGJOCO, ANNE MONIQUE M. NURSING JURISPRUDENCE

PCHS BSN IV

LEGAL PROBLEMS/ISSUES IN NURSING PRACTICE


LIVING WILLS (LIKE RIGHT-TO-DIE STATUSES) o An individual signed request to be allowed to die when life can be supported only mechanically or heroic measures. MENTAL COMPETENCY o All patients are presumed to be competent unless declared incompetent by the court of law USE OF RESTRAINTS o Should be used with caution and discretion o All patients have the right to independence and freedom of movement o Requires a physicians order o If the patient or his legal guardian refuses to restraint, it has to be documented TELEPHONE ORDERS o Only in an extreme emergency and when no other resident or intern is available should a nurse receive telephone orders. o The nurse should read back such order to the physician to make certain the order has been correctly written. o Such order should be sign by the physician on his next visit within 24 hours. MEDICAL RECORDS o Supplies rich material for medical and nursing research o Serves as a legal protection for the hospital, doctor, and nurse by reflecting the disease or condition of the patient and his management. o If it was not charted, it was not observed or done. o Nurses are expected to record fully, accurately, legibly and promptly their observations from admission to the time of the patients discharge. o Nurses are legally and ethically bound to protect the patients chart from unauthorized person. ABORTION o Considered illegal according to revised penal code o Patient should assume responsibility for her abortion