LEGAL ASPECTS OF NURSING

WOMEN: Know Your Rights Its Your Future

Legal Rights Of Nurses In Clinical Areas

TOPICS OF DISCUSSION :
INTRODUCTION. DEFINITION. RULES FOR NURSING PRACTICE. LAWS FOR NURSES. LEGAL RIGHTS OF NURSES. LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR NURSES. NURSES ROLE TO PREVENT LEGAL COMPLICATIONS. SOME DO·S & DO NOT·S FOR SAFE NURSING. CONCLUSION.

INTRODUCTION
The expanded role of the nurses require a higher level of education, knowledge , skill and decision making capabilities. Knowledge of legal aspects in nursing is absolutely essential for each nurse to safeguard self and clients from legal complications. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of their legal rights in the health care, therefore that a nurse should know her legal rights ,professional boundaries and consequences of nonconformity

IMPORTANCE OF LAW TO THE NURSE
y

Nurses have more responsibility Increased numbers of Advanced Practice Nurses

y

Law is there to assist in the decision-making process involved in nursing practice y Law is there for the protection of nursing practice
y y

Law is there for the identification of the risk of liability

DEFINITION
CREIGHTON ² ´Those standards of human conduct established and enforced by the authority of an organized society through its government.µ 2.HAMLET AND ELLAN- ´Sum total of manmade rules and regulations by which society is governed in formal and legally binding manner.µ In nursing practice its means the way in which you are obligated to obey the in professional activities. Disobedience of the law results in punishment.

RULES RELATED TO NURSING PRACTICE

THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT IS SOURCE OF LEGAL AUTHORITY. 1.GOVERNMENT SERVICE CONDUCT RULES 2. INDIAN NURSING COUNCIL ACT 3. INDIAN LAWS

GENERAL LEGAL ASPECTS

Definition of Law
y

Comes from the word which means ´that which is laid down or fixedµ

Law is a rule or standard of human conduct established & enforced by authority, society, or custom y Law is established for the welfare of society
y y

Law is not stagnant--changes when society·s directs a change

LAWS FOR NURSES:
1.

The right to refuse to treat a patient except in an emergency situation.[it is very doubtful that a patient would be refused treatment in actual practice but it is supported by law.] The right to sue for fees,[ this is applicable only to private duty nurses of private practitioners since other nurses would be salaried] Unregistered practitioners are not allowed to hold appointments in public and local hospital.

2.

3.

The right to add a title or descriptions to ones name. Any title, description, abbreviation or letter which implies holding a degree, diploma, license or certificate showing the particular qualifications may be added. [ improper use of these is often prohibited by state nurses registration act] . The right to wear the red cross Emblem is given only to members of the Army medical service. The Indian penal code demands that poisonous drugs be kept in separate containers properly labeled and marked. Care must be taken not to mix nonpoisonous drugs.

Tort Law is the enforcement of duties & rights among independent of contractual agreements. It is a civil wrong committed on a person or property stemming from either a direct invasion of some legal right of the person, infraction of some public duty, or the violation of some private obligation by which damages accrue to the person. Examples of Tort Law include:

y y y y y y y

Negligence & Malpractice Assault & Battery False Imprisonment Restraints or Seclusion Invasion of Privacy Defamation Fraud

NEGLIGENCE & MALPRACTICE

Terms
y y

y

y y

Liability is an obligation one has incurred or might incur thru any act or failure to act Malpractice refers to the behavior of a professional person·s wrongful conduct, improper discharge of professional duties, or failure to meet the standards of acceptable care which result in harm to another person Negligence(breach of duty) is the failure of an individual to provide care that a reasonable person would ordinarily use in a similar circumstance Defendant is the person being sued Plaintiff is the party who initiates the lawsuit that seeks damages

Proof of Liability depends on: y Duty y Breach of duty y Injury y Causation

Assault & Battery

y

Assault is the intentional & unlawful offer to touch a person in an offensive , insulting or physically intimidating manner Battery is the touching of another person without the person·s consent

y

FUNDAMENTAL DUTIES
1. To exercise a reasonable degree of skill and knowledge in treating patients the standard held is that exercised by other reputable members of the same profession in similar circumstances. 2. Once a relationship of a patient has been established, there is an obligation to attend a patient as long as necessary unless the patient requests withdrawal of notice is given of intention to withdraw.

RIGHTS OF A CONSUMER:
RIGHT OF SAFETY RIGHT TO BE INFORMED RIGHT TO CHOOSE RIGHT TO BE HEARD RIGHT TO CONSUMER EDUCATION POISON CASE ARTIFICIAL HUMAN INSEMINATON DYING DECLARATION

LEGAL RIGHTS OF NURSE
Right of appointing and assigning. Right of quality control. Right of using equipments. Right to care public. Right for observation and reporting. Right for record keeping.

LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR NURSING PRACTICE IN INDIA
1.REGISTRATION 2. LEGAL LIABILITY/ ACT OF NEGLIGENCE CRIMINAL [IPS] CIVIL COURT 3. MEDICO-LEGAL CASE [MLC] a. Road traffic accident b.Suicide and homicide c.Burns,poisoning, rape victim 4. CONSENT 5. CORRECT IDENTITY 6. LEFT AGAINST MEDICAL ADVICE [LAMA] 7. CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT 1986

NURSES ROLE TO PREVENT LEGAL COMPLICATION
KNOWLEDGE OF RULES AND REGULATIONS KEEN OBSERVATION MAINTANANCE OF RECORDS AND REPORTS FOLLOW 7 R·S- RIGHT PATIENT, RIGHT DRUG, RIGHT DOSE, RIGHT TIME, RIGHT ROUTE, RIGHT REASON AND RIGHT DOCUMENTATION AWARENESS ABOUT NURSING PRACTICE.

SOME DO·S & DO NOT·S FOR SAFE NURSING PRACTICE
Do document all unusual incidences. Do keep current year license to practice. Do follow polices and procedures. Do protect patients from injury themselves. Do not accept money or gift from patients. Do not give advice that is contrary to doctor·s orders or the nursing care plan. Do not witness a patient·s will. Do not work as a nurse without license.

CONCLUSION
Every nurse should act as per the legal guidelines for nursing practice while caring for patient since negligence may cause a great distress to nurse. The knowledge of rights is integral with the expanding role and a logical application of the planned systematic and focused care. For the implementation of high quality of nursing practice in the world of latest medical and technological advances are good knowledge of legal right is necessary.

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