Legal Issues

Legal and Ethical Issues

Good Samaritan Laws:
Provide limited immunity from liability
Act in “good faith”, with “due care”
Give aid without “gross negligence” or “willful misconduct”

Expressed (informed, actual; oral, written, “gestural” or “posturally indicative”)
Implied (when unresponsive, under age, incompetent)
Parental (for under age, developmentally delayed/impaired/dementia w/DPAC)
Therapeutic privilege (during surgery)

legal age, competent, able

Reporting Laws:
Gunshot wound laws: injuries caused by lethal weapons
drug overdoses, poisonings, suspected criminal abortions, animal bites
injuries due to automobile accidents
deaths due to blood transfusions
Child/Elderly abuse laws: physical abuse inflicted by other than accidental means
psychological and emotional abuse, moral neglect, immoral association
Diseases: STDs
Suspicious deaths/deaths from other than “normal” causes
Coroner/Medical Examiner

obtaining/handling evidence

4 Emergency Pitfalls:
Failure to recognize an emergency and respond appropriately
Failure to communicate adequately
Medication error
Preventable equipment failure

6 possible charges/tort claims:
False Imprisonment
Invasion of Privacy

“Burden of Proof”

Possible Defenses Against Malpractice Charges:
Lack of Proof
Contributory Negligence
Comparative Negligence
Assumption of Risk