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Chapter 2


Medical/Legal Aspects of Advanced Prehospital Care

Ethical Responsibilities: o Promptly respond to the needs of every Patient. o Treat all patients and their families w/ courtesy and respect. o Maintain mastery of your skills and medical knowledge. o Participate in continuing education and refresher training. o Critically review your performance, and seek improvement. o Report honestly and w/ respect for patient confidentiality. o Work cooperatively and with respect for other emergency professionals. Sources of Law • Constitutional law- based on the Constitution of the USA. • Common law- “case” or “judge-made” law, from the court system. • Legislative law (Statutory Law)- created by law-making or legislative bodies. • Administrative law (Regulatory Law)- enacted by an administrative or governmental agency at either the federal or state level. Categories of Law  Criminal law- division of the legal system that deals w/ wrongs committed against society or its members.  Civil law- the division of the legal system that deals w/ noncriminal issues and conflicts between 2 or more parties.  Tort law- a civil wrong committed by one individual against another. Scope of Practice- range of duties and skills paramedics are allowed and expected to perform. Paramedics report possible abuse to ER Dr. or (800)96ABUSE. Immunity- exemption from legal liability. Good Samaritan laws- laws that provide immunity to certain people who assist at the scene of a medical emergency. Ryan White CARE Act.- requires hospitals and EMS agencies to create a notification system to provide information and assist the paramedic when an exposure occurs.

Confidentiality. Abandonment.verbal. name.Patients granting of permission for treatment.  Implied consent (Emergency Doctrin). or written communicantion. nonverbal. Libel.  Expressed consent.  Involuntary given based on full disclosure of information.a breach of duty by failure to perform a required act or duty.  Nonfeasance.refers to compensable physical.termination of the paramedic-patient relationship without assurance that an equal or greater level of care will continue. Defamation. A Breach of Duty may occur by any of the following:  Malfeasance.Negligence. Breach of duty. or emotionally unable to grant intentional false communication that injures another person’s reputation or good name.granted by authority of the court.action or inaction of the paramedic that immediately caused or worsened the damage suffered by the patient. Duty to Act. or reputation by false statements made in SPOKEN WORD w/ malicious intent or reckless disregard for falsity of those statements. Actual damages.a formal contractual or informal legal obligation to provide action or inaction that violates the standard of care expected from a paramedic.  an act that unlawfully places a person in apprehension of immediate bodily harm w/out his consent. Competent. Slander. psychological.deviation from accepted standards of care recognized by law for the protection of others against the unreasonable risk of harm. Consent. Assault.the act of injuring a person’s character. name.the principle of law that prohibits the release of medical or other personal information about a patient without the patient’s consent.the act of injuring a person’s character.a breach of duty by performance of a wrongful or unlawful act. . or financial harm.a breach of duty by performance of a legal act in a manner that is harmful or injurious. presumed for a patient who is to make an informed decision about medical care. Types of Consent  Informed consent. Proximate cause. or reputation by false statements made in WRITING or mass media w/ malicious intent or reckless disregard for falsity of those statements.

DNR (Do Not Resuscitate Orders) Documentation must be:  Completed promptly after patient contact.  Thorough  Objective  Accurate  Maintain patient Confidentiality the unlawful touching of another individual without his consent.