Law and Ethics Introduction to health science
Medical law • Medical law is the branch of law which concerns the rights and responsibilities of medical professionals and the rights of the patient. • Minimum standard of conduct • The main branches of medical law are the law on confidentiality, negligence, and torts in relation to medical treatment (medical malpractice),and criminal law in the field of medical practice and treatment.
Medical ethics • Ethics? • Beliefs of what is morally right or wrong • Standards of proper behavior
Medical ethics • Medical ethics is a field of applied ethics that applies to the field of medicine and health care. • Concern about medical ethics goes back to Hippocrates. • Hippocratic oath
Scope of practice • Scope of practice is used for health care professions that defines the procedures, actions, and processes that are permitted for the licensed individual. • The scope of practice is limited to that which the law allows for specific education and experience, and specific demonstrated competency.
Battery • The actual physical harm or unwarranted touching of another person. • If a medical procedure is done on a patient without getting permission, it may be considered battery.
Invasion of privacy • This is the right to be left alone and to not have your information become public. • The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 addresses the security and privacy of health data.
Invasion of privacy • Invasion of Privacy also involves maintaining a person’s modesty during care. • Hospital gowns are usually open in the back which may unnecessarily expose the patient when they are walking or laying in bed. • Care must be taken to make sure the patient is appropriately covered.
negligence • Negligence if the failure to do something that a prudent person would ordinarily do OR not doing something you have been trained to do. • Example: Giving the wrong medication to the wrong patient because the nurse did not check the patient’s wrist band
malpractice • Malpractice is professional negligence. • Malpractice literally means “bad practice.” • It has come to mean professional care that has led to injury due to faulty practice or neglect.
consent • Consent to treat is required from every conscious, mentally competent adult before care can begin. • Three types of consent: • Expressed • Implied • Informed
Expressed consent • The patient expressly authorizes the health care provider to provide care or transport. • Patient must be informed of the steps of the procedures and all related risks, benefits, and alternatives to treatment. • Patient must be of legal age and able to make a rational decision to give consent.
Implied consent • Consent assumed from the unconscious patient requiring emergency intervention. • Based on the assumption that the unconscious patient would consent to lifesaving interventions.
Informed consent • Telling the patient what medical procedure will be performed, the expected outcome, and the possible complications.
Impact laws of health care • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA) • What is HIPPA?
HIPaa • HIPAA was created to update and streamline the insurance reimbursement process. • It also addressed rising concern about access to medical records and private information due to increasing use of electronic record keeping.
How HIPAA affects patients • Confidentiality guidelines for safeguarding medical records and individual medical informationwere implemented. • Patients seeking treatment now sign forms at every health care facility indicating they have read about the confidentiality practices. (Started 2003) • HIPAA helps protect the use of medical information that can be traced back to an individual. • HIPAA allows patients easier access to their personal medical records while limiting access to records by other institutions.
How HIPAA affects health care workers • Confidential information is privileged communication which should only be given out on a need-to-know basisand ONLY be shared with those who are involved in the direct care of the individual patient.
How HIPAA affects health care workers • It is important to avoid elevator or cafeteria chatter where patient information may be heard by those not affiliated with direct patient care. • This includes all medical information of every patient. • Maintenance of confidentiality helps to promote trust between the patient and the health care community.
HIPAA • There is certain health care information that can be publically disclosed. • Some incidents need to be reported to the county and state health departments including • Births • Deaths • Cancers • Traffic accidents involving the use of drugs or alcohol • Communicable diseases -AIDS -Tuberculosis -Hepatitis -West Nile Virus -Sexually Transmitted Diseases -SARS