Ethical and Legal Issues in Nursing Diane Eckert, Christen Rosa, Gary Pagdilao, Melissa Mendoza Nurs 391 April 20, 2015 Willie Goodwin Ethical and Legal Issues in Nursing The nurse plays an important role in the safety and well-being of the sick and vulnerable. In two different cases, one involving the care of the unresponsive patient without advanced directives and the second involves the nurse observing negligent behavior by another nurse. The nurse is responsible not only ethically but legally for the care of the patient. The American Nurses Association (ANA) Code of Ethics serves to protect the welfare of the sick, injured and helpless. Nurses are relied upon to advocate for our patients dignity, privacy, confidentiality, improper and incompetent care.
Gross negligence typically consists of unintentional acts, but can be deemed intentional based on the reckless nature of the event. An example of gross negligence would be not giving an elderly bedridden patient food or water for several days. Malpractice is defined as the failure of a professional person to act in accordance with the prevailing professional standards or failure to foresee consequences that a professional person, having the necessary skills and education, should foresee” (Guido, 2010, p.93). Malpractice is often called professional negligence. The most common categories of malpractice and negligence among nurses are the failure to follow standards of care, use equipment in a responsible manner,
Laws on the other hand are binding rules of conduct. When laws are broken, it is punishable by an authority figure. An example of this would be a nurse making a medication error and not reporting it. The legal system and ethical system overlap in most situations, and every patient contact has the potential to produce a legal or ethical situation. “Knowledge of legal issues are essential because nurses are required to practice in accordance with legislation affecting nursing practice and health care failure to respect the legal rights of clients may result in legal or disciplinary actions.” (Makely, Austin, & Kester, 2013, p.64).
The conflict arises because the decision not to resuscitate could be seen as not promoting the well being of the patient and an omission on the nurse’s part, causing detrimental consequences (Rumbold, 1999). On the other hand, clause seven of the ‘Code of Professional Conduct’ states that a nurse should “recognise and respect the uniqueness and dignity of each patient and client and respond to their need of care” (UKCC, 1992). The nurse who does not comply with a patient’s wish to die with dignity and not to be resuscitated, could be seen as violating this clause (Rumbold, 1999). There are several viewpoints regarding the use of cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (C.P.R.). One such viewpoint is that it
It becomes burdensome when the terminal client, has no advanced directive and the loved ones that are to make decisions are in disagreement with each other. The Nurse Practice Acts and Code of Ethics for Nurse’s can help with dealing with ethical and legal issues in Nursing. An example of a malpractice case is a nurse as a witness in a malpractice suit that involved harm to a client. The case is against the healthcare institution, and a nurse whom she knew was overtly negligent. On previous occasions, it is noticed this nurse violating standards of care.
It is the failure to meet a standard of care or standard of conduct that is recognized by a profession reaches the level of malpractice when a client or patient is injured or damaged because of error. Medical malpractice is professional negligence by act or omission by a health care provider in which the treatment provided falls below the accepted standard of practice in the medical community and causes injury or death to the patient, with most cases involving medical error. It usually involves an alleged tort of negligence (states the party who acted wrongfully is liable for damages to the injured party). Criminal negligence is the failure to use reasonable care to avoid consequences that threaten or harm the safety of the public and that are the foreseeable outcome of acting in a particular manner. Unlike the tort of Negligence, a person who is convicted of criminal negligence is subject to a fine, imprisonment, or both, because of the status of the conduct as a
This paper will help to analyze exactly what the HIPAA Privacy Rule means and what the consequences are if it is breached. This paper will also analyze a particular case that involves a nurse that mistakenly breaches a patient’s privacy. Patients are
Ethics committees can be useful in this situation, because they can help explain the patient’s situation and provide possible answers to those hard questions. The nurse who neglected care towards the patients, in my opinion, should lose their job. Nurses who neglect care are putting their patients at danger. According to the Code of Nursing Ethics, “The nurse owes the same duties to self as to others, including the responsibility to preserve integrity and safety, to maintain competence, and to continue personal and professional growth” (ANA Code of Nursing Ethics). This nurse neglected the patient, therefore, neglected the responsibility in preserving the safety and integrity of the patient.
With the nurse being tired she could potentially mess up a service users notes and provide them with the wrong medication, putting the service user at risk of dying. If the nurse is grouchy she might be very rude without knowing to a service user and make them feel upset or then put them in a bad mood. If the nurse is stressed she might snap at her colleagues or a service user. Then making everyone that the nurse has come into contact with dislike her or make service users complain about the service of the hospital, just because the nurse didn’t get a break during her
Becoming aware of these laws would be ideal, but not knowing the key points of each law where someone may encounter an emergency should be protected if they act reasonably. Keywords: liable, protect Good Samaritan Laws May Vary In her article “How good a Samaritan should you be?” Penny S. Brooke (2003) describes legal ramifications and duties a nurse has when encountering an emergency situation outside of work. Many people refuse involvement during an emergency due to a possible lawsuit. They may be unaware that most states have Good Samaritan laws. These laws are designed to protect an individual from being held liable when volunteering their healthcare skills in an emergency.