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III PROFESSIONAL & PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

Legal Aspects of Nursing


The Philippine Nursing Law
Definition and Meaning of Law
The word "law" may be defined as a rule of conduct pronounced by controlling authority,
which may be enforced. There are three essential characteristics of every law. The first
one is the authority or the right to declare the rule exists. The second is that such rule is
pronounced or expressed and that its source can be identified. Lastly, a right to enforce
the same must be provided.

Nursing Jurisprudence
Department of law which comprises all legal rules and principles effecting the practice of
nursing
Includes the study and interpretation of rules and principles and their application in the
regulation of the practice of nursing

Function of Law in Nursing


Provides a framework for establishing what nursing actions in the care of patients are legal
Delineates the nurse’s responsibilities from those of other professionals
Helps to establish the boundaries of independent nursing actions
Assists in maintaining a standard of nursing practice by making nurses accountable to the
law

Brief History of the Philippine Nursing Law


Actually, the first law that had to do with the practice of nursing was contained in Act No.
2493 in 1915, which regulated the practice of medicine. This act provided for the
examination and registration of nurses in the Philippine Islands.
During that time, the applicants need to be only twenty years old, of good physical health and
good moral character. Graduates of intermediate courses of the public school could enter
the school of nursing, which was then giving only two years, and a half of instruction.
These graduates were called first class nurses. Those who desired to be second-class
nurses filed an application with the district health officer in the district where they resided.
In 1919 Act 2808 was passed- this is known as the First True Nursing Law. It created among
others a board of examiners for nurses. However, it was in 1920 that the first board
examination in the Philippines was given.
On June 19. 1953, the Philippine Nursing Law or R.A. 877 was passed. This act regulated
the practice of nursing in the Philippines.

One of the landmarks in the history of the nursing profession in the Philippines is the
Presidential Proclamation of a Nurses' Week. Under Proclamation No. 539 dated
October 17, 1958 the President of the Philippines designated the last week of October
every year beginning in 1958 as Nurses' Week.

Laws Governing The Practice of Nursing


REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9173 .An act providing for a more responsive nursing profession,
repealing for the purpose republic act no. 7164, otherwise known as "the Philippine nursing
act of 1991" and for other purposes.
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7305 THE Magna Carta of public health workers
PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 603 December 10, 1974 The child and youth welfare code
PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 1519, as amended revising the Philippine medical care act of
nineteen hundred and sixty nine
PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 856 Code on sanitation
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 4226 an act requiring the licensure of all hospitals in the Philippines and
authoring the bureau of medical services to serve as the licensing agency
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 6713 An act establishing a code of conduct and ethical standards for
public officials and employees, to uphold the time-honored principle of public office being a
public trust, granting incentives and rewards for exemplary service, enumerating prohibited
acts and transactions and providing penalties for violations thereof and for other purposes
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 6716 An act providing for the construction of water wells, rainwater
collectors, development of springs and rehabilitation of existing water wells in all
barangays in the Philippines.
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REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7610 an act providing for stronger deterrence and special protection
against child abuse, exploitation and discrimination, and for other purposes.
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7624 An act integrating drug prevention and control in the intermediate
and secondary curricula as well as in the non-formal, informal and indigenous learning
systems and for other purposes.
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7659 an act to impose the death penalty on certain heinous crimes,
amending for that purpose the revised penal laws, and for other purposes
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 3720 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act” An act to ensure the safety and
purity of foods, drugs, and cosmetics being made available to the public by creating the
food and drug administration which shall administer and enforce the laws pertaining
thereto.
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 6425 the dangerous drugs act of 1972
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 6675 An act to promote, require and ensure the production of an
adequate supply, distribution, use and acceptance of drugs and medicines identified by
their generic names.
Republic Act No. 7170 an act authorizing the legacy or donation of all or part of a human
body after death for specified purposes.
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7277 an act providing for the rehabilitation, self-development and self-
reliance of disabled persons and their integration into the mainstream of society and for
other purposes.
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7392 an act revising republic act no. 2644, as amended, otherwise
known as the Philippine midwifery act
Republic Act No. 7600 AN Act providing incentives to all government and private health
institutions with rooming-in and breast-feeding practices and for other purposes
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7719 An act promoting voluntary blood donation, providing for an
adequate supply of safe blood regulating banks, and providing penalties for violation
thereof
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7875 NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE ACT OF 1995 an act
instituting a national health insurance program for all Filipinos and establishing the
Philippine health insurance corporation for the purpose
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7877 an act declaring sexual harassment unlawful in the employment,
education or training environment, and for other purposes.
Republic Act No. 7883 an act granting benefits and incentives to accredit barangay health
workers and for other purposes
Republic Act No. 7885 Act to advance corneal transplantation in the Philippines, amending
for the purpose republic act numbered seven thousand one hundred and seventy (R.A. no.
7170), otherwise known as the organ donation act of 1991
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8172 an act promoting salt iodization nationwide and for related
purposes.
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8191 An act prescribing measures for the prevention and control of
diabetes mellitus in the Philippines, providing for the creation of a national commission on
diabetes, appropriating funds therefor and for other purposes.
Republic Act No. 8203 an act prohibiting drugs, providing penalties for violations and
appropriating funds therefor
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8344 An act penalizing the refusal of hospitals and medical clinics to
administer appropriate initial medical treatment and support in emergency or serious
cases, amending for the purpose Batas pambansa bilang 702, otherwise known as "an act
prohibiting the demand of deposits or advance payments for the confinement or treatment
of patients in hospitals and medical clinics in certain cases".
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8423 An act creating the Philippine institute of traditional and alternative
health care (pitahc) to accelerate the development of traditional and alternative health care
in the Philippines, providing for a traditional and alternative health care development fund
and for other purposes
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8503 An act providing for the promotion of health research and
development, establishing for the purpose the national institutes of health (nih), defining its
objectives, powers and functions, and for other purposes
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8504 An act promulgating policies and prescribing measures for the
prevention and control of HIV/aids in the Philippines, instituting a nationwide aids/aids
information and educational program, establishing a comprehensive aids/aids monitoring
system, strengthening the Philippine national aids council, and for other purposes
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8749 PHILIPPINE CLEAN AIR ACT OF 1999
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REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8976 “THE PHILIPPINE FOOD FORTIFICATION ACT OF 2000” An act
establishing the Philippine food fortification program and for other purposes.
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8980 an act promulgating a comprehensive policy and a national
system for early childhood care and development (eccd), providing funds therefor and for
other purposes.
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8981 “THE PRC MODERNIZATION ACT OF 2000” An act modernizing
the professional regulation commission, repealing for the purpose presidential decree
numbered two hundred and twenty-three, entitled "creating the professional regulation
commission and prescribing its powers and functions," and for other purposes.
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9048 [March 22, 2001] An act authorizing the city or municipal civil
registrar or the consul general to correct a clerical or typographical error in an entry and/or
change of first name or nickname in the civil register without need of a judicial order,
amending for this purpose articles 376 and 412 of the civil code of the Philippines
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9165 An act instituting the comprehensive dangerous drugs act of
2002, repealing republic act no. 6425, otherwise known as the dangerous drugs act of
1972, as amended, providing funds therefore, and for other purposes.
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9241 an act amending republic act no. 7875, otherwise known as "an
act instituting a national health insurance program for all Filipinos and establishing the
Philippine health insurance corporation for the purpose"
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9262 An act defining violence against women and their children,
providing for protective measures for victims, prescribing penalties therefore, and for other
purposes.
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9288 an act promulgating a comprehensive policy and a national
system for ensuring newborn screening
Act No. 2493 Regulations of the practice of Medicine which covers nursing practice
RA 4704 Amendments to 877:BON from 3 to 5 Members; MA for deans; 18 as minimum age
requirement for licensure application
RA 6136 Application and execution of legal orders in writing of physician re: treatments and
meds, IV injection by nurse under the direct supervision of the physician
RA 6511 Standardization of examination and registration fees, non-payment of fees for r
consecutive years will mean suspension and removal from annual roster (PRC Resolution
No. 217, S. 1992)
PD No. 223 Creation of the Professional Regulation Commission and its powers and
responsibilities
RA 5101(1976) Practice of profession by a person who is permanent resident in Philippines
for at least 3 years and reciprocity
LOI No. 1000 Compulsory membership to professional organization and priority in hiring of
members
RA 1612 Privilege Tax payment before starting business or occupation, income tax payment
on or before January 31
PD 69 Limits the number of children to 4 for exemptions
RA 1080 Passing bar and board exams means civil service eligible
Proclamation No. 539 Last week of October designated as Nurses’ Week
RA 3753/PD651 Civil Register Law, Birth Registration Law
RA 2302 The Philippine Medical Act
PD 541 Former Filipino Professionals are allowed to practice while in the Philippines
RA 1082 (1954); RA 1891(1957) Creation of rural health units all over the Philippines
RA 679: PD 148 Woman and Child Labor law
RA 1054 Free emergency, medical and dental services for employees
RA 4226 Hospital Licensure Act
RA 5901 Maximum of 40 hours a week of work for nurses in agencies with 100 bed capacity
and/or in an area with 1M population
PD 442 Labor Code of the Philippines…right to self-organization and collective bargaining
PD 603 Child and Youth Welfare Code
ILO Convention No. 149 Improvement of work-life conditions of nursing personnel through
negotiations ratified by Proc. No. 1851
RA 6111 Philippine Medicare Act
PD 1519 Medicare benefits of government employees
PD 1636 Compulsory membership of self-employed individuals to SSS
RA 3573 Law on reporting communicable diseases to be monitored at least weekly
RA 1136 Reorganization of the Division of Tuberculosis
RA 4073 Liberalizing treatment of leprosy
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Executive Order No. 51 Milk Code


Letter of Instruction 949 Primary Health Care
Proclamation No. 6 Implementing UNICEF goal on child immunization
PD 965 Couples to undergo family planning instruction before issuance of marriage license
PD 48 Limits paid maternity leave to 4 children
LOI 47 Directing all health sciences and social work schools to incorporate family planning in
their curriculum
PD 996 Compulsory basic immunization to infants and young children
PD 825 Issuance of health certificate after venereal disease clearance to those employed in
the entertainment industry; examination for syphilis every six weeks/gonorrhea every two
weeks
BP 702 Unlawful to demand deposit in cases of serious conditions
RA 807 Civil Service Law
EO 180 Right of government employees to join unions
PD 851 Requires employers to pay employees the 13th month pay
RA 1981 GSIS Act
RA 1161 SSS Act
RA 7041 Publication of vacancies in government position
RA 7160 The Local Government Code
EO 503 Implementing rules and guidelines on the devolution of health services
RA 8479 Clean Air Act
PD 626 Employee Compensation and State Insurance Fund
RA 6758 Salary Standardization Law
RA 7432 Senior Citizens Act
RA 6725 Law on women with respect to terms and conditions of employment
EO 266 Institutionalization of continuing professional education of various boards under the
supervision of PRC (PRC Resolution No. 187, S. 1991, renewal of PRC license on birth
date not later than the 20th of the next month
House Bill No. 4955 AN ACT PUNISHING THE MALPRACTICE OF ANY MEDICAL
PRACTITIONER IN THE PHILIPPINES AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

Legal Liabilities in Nursing


As nurses begin their professional obligations, their legal responsibilities begin as well. Their
license to practice attests that they are qualified under the law to practice their profession.
The Philippine Nursing Act of 1992 is the best guide the nurse can utilize as it defines the
scope of nursing practice. There are also standards of care that may be used as criteria in
evaluating their work. The nurses are enjoined to be familiar with the Philippine Nursing
Law, and the standards of nursing care, other laws which affect nursing practice and their
code of ethics.

Responsibility and Accountability for the Practice of Professional Nursing


When nurses undertake to practice their profession, they are held responsible and
accountable for the quality- of performance of their duties. Nurses employed in an agency,
institution, or hospitals are responsible directly to their immediate supervisors. Private duty
nurses, being independent practitioners, are held to a standard of conduct that is expected
of reasonably prudent nurses. The standard is clearly defined, legal expectation to which
nurses are held accountable.

Professional Negligence
The term negligence 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 is the proximate cause of injury to another person or his
property.

The Doctrine of Res Ipsa Loquitur


Three conditions are required to establish a defendant’s negligence without proving specific
conduct.
1. The injury was of such nature that it would not normally occur unless there was a
negligent act on the part of someone.
2. The injury was caused by an agency within control of the defendant,
3. That the plaintiff himself did not engage in any manner that would tend to bring about
the injury.
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Malpractice
Malpractice in the usual sense implies the idea of improper or unskillful care of a patient by a
nurse. It would also see that malpractice also denotes stepping beyond one's authority
with serious consequences.

Doctrine of Force Majeure


The terms "force majeure" means an irresistible force, one that is unforeseen or inevitable.
Under the civil code of the Philippines, no person shall be responsible for those events
which could not before seen, or which, though foreseen, were inevitable, except in cases
expressly specified by law.

Doctrine of Respondent Superior


The term means "let the master answer for the acts of the subordinate." Under this doctrine,
the liability is expanded to include the master as well as the employee and not a shift of
liability from the subordinate to the master. Therefore, when a person through his
negligence injures another, he remains fully responsible. This doctrine applies only to
those actions performed by the employee within the scope of his employment

Incompetence
Incompetence is the lack of ability, legal qualifications or fitness to discharge the required
duty. Although a nurse is registered, if in the performance of her duty she manifests
incompetency, this is a ground for revocation or suspension of her certificate of
registration.

Liability of Nurses for the Work of Nursing Aides


Nursing aides performs selected nursing activities under the direct supervision of nurses.
They are usually given on-the-job training by the Training Staff. Their responsibilities
usually pertain to the routine care of chronically ill patients. They are therefore
responsible for their own actions.

Liability for the Work of Nursing Students


Under the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002 R.A. 9173 nursing students do not perform
professional nursing. They are to be supervised by their Clinical Instructors. In order that
the errors committed by nursing students will be avoided/minimized the following
measures should be taken:

Liability for the Work of Nursing Students


Nursing students should always be under the supervision of their Clinical Instructors.
They should be given assignments that are in level of their training, experience and
competency.
They should be advised to seek guidance specially if they are performing a procedure for the
first time.
They should be oriented to the policies of the nursing unit where they are assigned.
Their performance should be assessed frequently to determine their strengths and their
weaknesses.
Frequent conferences with the students will reveal their problems, which they may want to
bring to the attention of their instructors or vice-versa. Discussions of these problems
will iron out doubts and possible solutions may be provided

Legal Defense in Negligence


The most common defense in a negligence action is when nurses know and attained that
standard of care in giving service and that they have documented the care they gave in a
concise and accurate manner.

Medical Orders, Drugs and Medications


Republic Act 6675 states that only validly registered medical, dental and veterinary
practitioners, whether in private institution/corporation or in the government, are
authorized to prescribe drugs. Prescriptions made by unauthorized persons constitute
illegal practice of medicine, dentistry or veterinary medicine and is punishable under R.A-
2832 or the Medical Act of 1959. R.A. 4419 or the Dental Act, and R.A- 382 or the
Veterinary Act.
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Intravenous Therapy and Legal Implications


Nurses now participate in complex intravenous therapy procedures that were once performed
only by doctors. Because of this change, nurses must remember that their legal right to
give intravenous injections is based on the Philippine Nursing Act of 1991 Section 28
which state that "in the administration of intravenous injections, special training shall be
required according to protocol established."

Telephone Orders
There are legal risks by telephone orders. These may be misunderstood or misinterpreted
by the receiving nurse. Sometimes too, messages from telephones may sound unclear
or garbled because of some trouble in the telephone lines. Most importantly, the
signature of the ordering physician is not present and this order may later be denied in
case errors exist or court litigations arise.

Medical Records
The value of medical records is both scientific and legal. As a record of illness and treatment,
it saves duplication in future cases and aids in prompt treatment. The record supplies
rich material for medical and nursing research. It serves as a legal protection for the
hospital, doctor and nurse by reflecting the disease or condition of the patient and his
management. Nurses must remember the rule. "If it was not charted, it was not observed
or done,"

Charting Done by Nursing Students


When a nurse or a clinical instructor countersigns the charting of a nursing student, she
attests that she has personal knowledge of information and that such is accurate and
authentic. Anyone who countersigns without verification commits herself to possible legal
risk.

Medical Records in Legal Proceedings


Medical records are usually used to give important evidence in legal proceedings such as
police investigations, determining cause of death, extent of injury incurred by the patient,
etc. It is usually the medical records librarian, under a subpoena duces tecum who
testifies that the patients' records are kept and protected from authorized handling and
change. Only complete accurate records are accepted in court.

Legal Risks for Defective Equipment


One important duty of the nurse is to make sure that the equipment used in procedures and
treatments are free from defects. While the nurse may or may not be responsible for
inspecting the equipment for optimum functioning, she should see to it that these are
regularly inspected, maintained and functioning properly- She should document the
times She requested these to show that she was able to foresee the improper
functioning of equipment which may cause possible injury to patients. This includes
wheelchairs, stretchers, suction machines- anesthesia apparatus- x-ray tables, etc,
Intentional Wrongs
A nurse may be held liable for intentional wrongs. Intentional tortuous acts may arise in the
performance of her duties. A tort is a legal wrong committed against person or property
independent of a contract, which renders the person who commits it liable for damages
in a civil action. The person who has been wronged seeks compensation for the injury or
wrong he has suffered from the wrong doer.

Examples of torts are:


1. Assault and Battery
2. False Imprisonment or Illegal Detention
3. Invasion of Right to Privacy and Breach of Confidentiality
4. Defamation

CRIMES: MISDEMEANORS AND FELONIES


Crime- Crime is defined as an act committed or omitted in violation of the law Criminal
offenses are composed of two elements: a criminal act and an evil/criminal intent. In
criminal action, the state seeks the punishment of the wrong doers
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Conspiracy to commit a crime


A conspiracy to commit a crime exists when two or more persons agree to commit a felony
and decide to do it. Persons who commit felonies are either principal, accomplice or
accessory.

Criminal Actions
Criminal actions deal with acts or offenses against public welfare. These vary from minor
offenses and misdemeanors to felonies. A misdemeanor is a general name for criminal
offense, which does not in law amount to the grade of a felony. Punishment is usually a
fine or imprisonment for a term of less than one year. A felony, is a public offense for the
conviction of which a person is liable to be sentenced to death or to imprisonment in a
penitentiary or prison. It is far more atrocious in nature than misdemeanor.
Felonies are committed with deceit and, fault. A deceit exists when the act is performed with
deliberate intent and there is fault when the wrongful acts result from imprudence,
negligence, or lack or skill or foresight.
Criminal negligence may be classified into reckless imprudence and simple imprudence.
Criminal intent is the state of mind a person has at the time the criminal act is committed, that
is, knowing an act is not lawful and decided to do it anyway. To be criminal, an act must be
defined as a crime. Deliberate intent includes two other elements without which there can
be no crime. These are freedom and intelligence. However, when a person, accused of
the crime offers evidence showing insanity, necessity, compulsion, accident, or infancy the
court wilt decide if he did not commit a criminal offense and will declare the person not
guilty.

Felonies are classified according to the degree of the acts of execution, which would produce
the felony, into consummated, frustrated, and attempted felonies.

Felonies are also classified according to the degree of punishment attached to the felony into
grave, less grave, and light felonies.

Circumstance Affecting Criminal Liability


Justifying Circumstances
Exempting Circumstance
Mitigating Circumstances
Aggravating Circumstances
Alternative Circumstances

Moral Turpitude Murder is the Homicide is the Abortion


This is an act of unlawful killing of a killing of a human The term abortion
baseness, vileness human being with being by another, it means the expulsion
or depravity in social intent to kill. It is very may be committed of die product of
or private duties. serious crime. without criminal conception before the
Crimes involving Nurses should keep intent, committed by age of viability. In
moral turpitude are in mind that death any person who kills law, any person who,
acts, which are bad resulting from a another, other than with the intentions of
in themselves such criminal abortion is his father, mother, or prematurely ending a
as rape, robbery and murder. Euthanasia child or any of his pregnancy, willfully
murder, is also considered ascendants or and unlawfully does
murder descendants- or his any act to cause the
spouse, without any same is guilty or
of the circumstances procuring abortion.
attendant the crime of
murder enumerated
above being present.

Parricide is a crime committed Robbery is a crime Simulation of birth is a crime


by one who kills his father, against a person or committed by one who
mother or child whether property. The taking of enters in a birth certificate
legitimate or illegitimate, or personal property to a birth that did not occur. It
any of his ascendants or another person from is a crime against the civil
descendants or his spouse. him or in his presence status of a person.
A person who is convicted constitutes robbery. Substitution of one child
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of this crime shall be An example would be for another or concealing


imposed a penalty from life when a nurse takes or abandoning any
imprisonment (reclusion the patient’s cash or legitimate child with intent
perpetual) to death. jewelry while the latter to cause such child to lose
was sleeping. its civil status shall be
punishable like simulation
of birth, by prison mayor
and a fine not exceeding
one thousand pesos.
Legal Safeguards
a. Written Consent

Consent to Medical and Surgical Procedures.


The consent signed by the patient or his authorized representative/legal guardian on
admission is for the initial diagnosis and treatment. Subsequent treatments/operations
require individual, informed consent.

Nature of Consent
Consent is an authorization, by a patient or a person authorized by law to give the consent on
the patient's behalf that changes a touching from non-consensual to consensual.
Proof of Consent
A written consent should be signed to show that the procedure was the one consented to and
that the person understood the nature of the procedure, the risks involved and the
possible consequences. A signed special consent is necessary before any medical or
surgical treatment is done such as x-rays, special laboratory tests, blood confusions,
operations, cobalt therapy, or chemotherapy and the like.

Who Must Consent


Ordinarily, the patient is the one who gives the consent in his own behalf. However, if he is
incompetent (such as in the case of minors or the mentally ill) or physically unable and is
not an emergency case, consent must be taken from another who is authorized to give
this in his behalf.

Consent of Minors
Parents, or someone standing in their behalf, give the consent to medical or surgical
treatment of a minor. Parental consent is not needed however, if the minor is married or
otherwise emancipated.

Consent of Mentally ill


A mentally incompetent person cannot legally consent to medical or surgical treatment. The
consent must be taken from the parents or legal guardian.

Emergency Situation
When an emergency exists, no consent is necessary because inaction at such time may
cause greater injury. A mother who is on the advanced stage of labor or a patient who
goes to the emergency room gives an implied consent to an immediate treatment or
attendance.

Refusal to Consent
A patient who is mentally and legally competent (sane mind and of legal age) has the right to
refuse to permit touching of his body or to submit to a medical or surgical procedure.
Examples are those patients who, because of their religious beliefs, may refuse blood
transfusion.

Consent for Sterilization


Sterilization is the termination of the ability to produce offspring’s. The husband and the wife
must consent to the procedure if the operation is primarily to accomplish sterilization.
When the sterilization is medically necessary, the sterilization is an incidental result such
as in cases of abruption placenta, ectopic pregnancies or ruptured uterus, the patient's
consent alone is sufficient.

b. Incident Reports
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The primary purpose of an incident report is to document and prevent possible consequent
injuries. Classifying an event, as an incident does not imply that someone made a
mistake, it only means that something unusual happened.

c. Contracts

A contract is a meeting of minds between two persons whereby one binds himself, with
respect to the other, to give something or to render some service.

A contract is a promise or a set of promises for which the law recognizes as a duty and when
that duty is not performed, the law provides a remedy.

Kinds of Requisites of a Contract


Contracts 1. To have a contract, two or more persons must participate.
1. Formal 2. The parties involved must be consent to the contract,
contract. 3. The object, which is the subject matter of the contract, must be
2. Informal specified.
contract 4. The cause of obligation is established. - The time, price and subject
3. Express matter are expressed.
4. Implied 5. Contracting parties must have the legal capacity to enter into a contract.
contract
5. Void contract
6. Illegal
contract

Legal excuse or defenses in refusing, neglecting or failure to perform a contract.


1. Discovery of material misrepresentation made and relied upon.
2. Where performance would be illegal.
3. Where performance is made impossible by reason of illness.
4. Where performance is made impossible by death of patient or nurse.
5. Where performance is made for other reasons.
6. Where contract is insufficient,

Advantages of Written Contracts


Many nurses fear written contracts. The following are the advantages of written contracts
over oral ones.
1. It is certain. It avoids the uncertainty of human memory,
2. It can specify a definite time within which it is binding so as to protect both sides against
sudden changes without notice. It also fixes a time limit after which conditions are no
longer binding but may be opened for re-discussion.
3. It sets a standard and relieves individual professional persons from haggling over
compensation.
4. It is more likely to be open and well known so that the use of written contracts tend to
establish minimum standards for professional practitioners and to protect them against
discrimination in compensation.
5. It is definite and can be definite on many details, which might otherwise stimulate
favoritism or caprice even among professional people, such as hours of work, vacation
allowances, holiday privileges, health and insurance provisions.
6. It can provide a definite procedure in case of complaints about substandard work so that
the employer has a clear course and the professional nurse has protection against
arbitrary action.
7. It creates at least a minimum of certainty and security for the professional employee so
that he is free to concentrate in his work without concern for the details, which the
written contracts has settled.

d. Nurses and Wills


A will is a legal declaration of a person's intentions upon death. It is called a testamentary
document because it takes effect after the death of is maker. It is an act whereby a
person is permitted with the formalities prescribed by law, to control to a certain degree
the deposition of his estate, to take effect after his death."
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Testamentary Capacity and Intent


Essentials of will to meet legal requirements:
1. The testator must have the expressed intention of making will. He must be of right age- A
person under 18 years of age cannot make a will. He is required to be of sound mind
and to have thinking ability clear at the time of its execution. He must be free from undue
influence.
2. The testator should name the person who will be charged with carrying out the provisions
of the will.
3. Properties must be disposed in accordance with legal requirements.
4. The will must be signed by the testator attested and signed at least three witnesses in his
presence and of one another. It must be in a language or dialect known to the testators.
5. Every will must be acknowledged before a notary public by the testator and witnesses.
6. Witnesses to the wills should be of sound mind, 18 years of age or more, not blind, or deaf
or not off dumb and able to read and write.
7. A married woman may make a will without the consent of her husband and without the
authority of the court. She may dispose by will all of her separate property 'as well as her
share of the conjugal partnership or absolute community property.

The Nurse's Obligations in the Execution of a Will


The nurse, therefore, should note the soundness of the patient’s mind (he understands the
act of making a will) and that there was freedom from fraud or undue influence (he was
not induced to make someone the beneficiary of the will) and that the patients is above
18 years of age She should note that the will is signed by the testator, that the witnesses
shall all be present at the same time and should sign the will in the presence of the
testator.

Gifts
Another way of disposing property is not only through a will but also by gifts.

Four legal requirements for a gift are:


1. The gift must consist of personal property,
2. There must be an intention to make the gifts,
3. An indication of transfer of control over such property, and
4. There must be acceptance by the recipient.

Gifts made by a person because of anticipation of death or belief in approaching death is


called gifts causa mortis or donation causa mortis. These are revocable and subject to
the claims of the donor’s creditors without proof of intent to defraud them. Such gifts are
same as in the execution of will that the person is of sound mind, if of age, and is not
under undue influence. The nurse should make notes on the patient's chart the patient's
condition and reactions for the record.

5. Legal Procedures and Trial


In trial, the judicial procedure is to ascertain facts by hearing evidence, determine which facts
are relevant, apply the appropriate principle of law and pass judgment. These
procedures in a lawsuit can be divided into commencement, pleading, pretrial, trial and
execution.

Commencement of the Action


The first step in the trial process is to determine what kind of legal actions is to be
determined. If the action relates to negligence that correct action would be in negligence
and if it relates to contract, the proper action would be for breach of contract. The court
that has Jurisdiction of the case and the geographic area where one of the parties
resides or where the action causing the complaint occurred determine the venue where
the case will be presented.

Statutes of Limitation
Complainant must be made within a specific time or the right to complain may be lost forever.
There should be a time limit in filing cases because witnesses become less reliable after
passage of time, it is more difficult to procure records that may be important, death may
intervene and prevent the presence of essential persons, parties may wait
indeterminably until an unfair advantage accrues by reason of death of an important
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witness or the destruction of documents. Claims for negligence or malpractice vary from
two (2) to three (3) years. In criminal cases, statutes of limitation varies from two (2) to
six (6) years excepts in cases where murder is committed in which there is no time limit,

Commencement of Legal Proceedings


The primary function of the court is to determine a controversy between two (2) disputants,
technically called litigants: The accuser is also known as the complainant or a plaintiff,
whereas, the accused is known as the respondent or defendant. The preliminary items
will be taken cared of the attorney or counselors, who file an order with the court clerk to
issue a writ of summons to the sheriff to inform the defendants that they must appear
before the court on a particular date. The complaint is filed and served. The defendant's
attorney will now study the case and prepare a strategy and defense.

Pleading
Each party presents a statement of facts or pleading to the court-First pleading is generally
known as a "complaint" or "petition".

Fundamental Requirements of Due Process


There are fundamental requirements to due process as per Article III Bill of Rights of the New
Constitution

Pre-Trial Procedures
This is an informal discussion which the judge and attorney eliminate matters not in dispute,
agree on issues and settle procedural matters relating to the trial. It often happens that
cases are settled at this point.

Trial
At the trial, facts of the case are determined, the principles of law relating to those facts are
applied and a conclusion as to liability is reached. The judge determines the facts and
applies the law.
Witness
The necessity of testimony by any person in a legal proceeding is determined by the
attorneys for the parties. Thus, a subpoena or a court summons is served directing a
witness to appear and give testimony on the date and time ordered. A subpoena duces
tecum is served to a witness requiring him to bring records, papers and the like which
may be in his profession and which may help clarify the matter in issue.

Appeals
An appellate court reviews the case and when the case is decided by it, the final Judgment
results and matter is ended.

Execution of Judgment
Generally lawsuits against hospitals or physicians and nurses involve recovery of money
damages.

The defendant is compelled to execute the judgment. Failure to obey will be regarded as
contempt of court and will result in fine or imprisonment. If the judgment is for payment
of money, the plaintiff may cause the sheriff to sell the defendant's properly as is
necessary to pay the costs.