Legal Concepts, Risk Management, and Ethical Issues

  1. Abandonment
    To leave a patient alone who is still in need of care or observation
  2. Accreditation
    Process whereby businesses, educational institutions and programs, and health care organizations are determined to meet standards and performance criteria as established by an accrediting agency
  3. Advance Directive
    Written instructions expressing the patient’s wishes concerning the types and amount of medical treatment to be rendered in the event the patient can no longer make those types of decisions
  4. Affidavit
    Voluntary statement of facts sworn before an authority to be true
  5. Code of Ethics
    Guidelines, usually expressed in a series of statements, that provide ethical standards of conduct for a profession
  6. Credentialing
    Process by which an agency or organization establishes a minimum knowledge base for a given health care profession and awards a credential to individuals who meet the minimum knowledge level
  7. Ethics
    Branch of philosophy dealing with good conduct and moral values
  8. Incident Report
    Mechanism for reporting an incident, usually by completing a document describing what happened, related to any adverse patient occurrence
  9. Informed Consent
    A situation in which a patient gives voluntary permission to another party (i.e., surgeon or anesthesia provider) to perform the procedures that have been explained; includes the risks, benefits, possible complications, and alternative treatment options
  10. Liability
    (1)An obligation to do or not do something; (2)An obligation potentially or actually incurred as a result of a negligent act
  11. Malpractice
    Professional misconduct that results in harm to another; negligence of a health care professional
  12. Moral Principles
    Guides for ethical decision making that include the concern individuals have for the well-being of others, respect for individual autonomy, basic justice, prevention of harm to others, and refusal to take unfair advantage
  13. Negligence
    Omission or commission of an act that a reasonable or prudent person would not do under the same conditions
  14. Patient Care Partnership
    Replacing the AHA’s Patients’ Bill of Rights, this plain-language brochure informs patients about what they should expect during their hospital stay with regard to their rights and responsibilities
  15. Risk Management
    The efforts of a health care provider organization to collect and utilize data to decrease the chance of harm to patients or staff or damage to property
  16. Safe Medical Device Act
    Established in 1990, this act requires medical device users to report to the manufacturer and/or FDA incidents that reasonably suggest that there is a probability that a medical device has caused or contributed to the death, serious injury, or illness of a patient
  17. Scope of Practice
    Professional duty limits based on state and federal law and on an individual’s education and experience
  18. Surgical Conscience
    The basis for the practice of strict adherence to sterile technique by all surgical team members; involves a level of honesty and moral integrity that must be upheld
  19. Accountability
    Obligation to disclose details for evaluation; commonly used to mean “to be held responsible for”
  20. Affidavit
    Voluntary statement of facts sworn to be true before an authority
  21. Allegation
    Statement one expects to prove true
  22. Bona fide
    In good faith or innocently
  23. Case law
    All legal decisions reported on a given legal subject
  24. Complaint
    First pleading filled by plaintiff’s attorney in a negligence action
  25. Defendant
    In criminal cases, the person accused of the crime; in civil matters, the person or organization being sued.
  26. Deposition
    Method of pretrial discovery in which questions are answered under oath
  27. Federal law
    Jurisdiction is given to federal courts in cases involving the interpretation and application of the U.S. Constitution, acts of Congress, and treaties
  28. Guardian
    Court-appointed protector for an individual incapable of making his or her own decisions
  29. Iatrogenic injury
    Injury resulting from the activity of health care professionals
  30. Indictment
    Formal written accusation from a grand jury
  31. Jury
    Group of citizens who decide the outcome of a criminal or civil trial
  32. Larceny
    Taking another’s property without consent
  33. Law, common
    Principles that have evolved and continue to evolve on the basis of court decisions
  34. Law, statutory
    Any law prescribed by the action of a legislature
  35. Liability
    Obligation to do or not do something
  36. Liability, corporate
    Obligation to do or not do something that is the responsibility of the corporate body
  37. Liability, personal
    Obligation by the individual to do or not do something
  38. Malpractice
    Professional misconduct that results in har to another; negligence of a professional
  39. Negligence
    Omission (not doing) or comission (doing) of an act that a reasonable and prudent individual would not do under the same conditions; may be associated with the phase “departure from the standard of care”
  40. Negligence, criminal
    Reckless disregard for the safety of another; willful indifference
  41. Perjury
    Intentionally providing false testimony under oath
  42. Plaintiff
    Person who initiates a lawsuit
  43. Precedent
    Legal principle, created by a court decision, that provides an example or authority for judges deciding similar issues later
  44. Standard of care
    Description of conduct that is expected of an individual or professional in a given circumstance
  45. State law
    State statutes, regulations, principles, and rules having the force of law
  46. Subpoena
    Court order to appear and testify or produce required documents
  47. Tort
    Civil wrong may be intentional or unintentional
  48. Trial
    When parties to a dispute present evidence in a court of law in order to achieve a resolution or, in a criminal act, to determine a person’s innocence or guilt
  49. Aeger primo
    “The Patient First” (motto of the AST)
  50. Doctrine of corporate negligence
    Health institution may be found negligent for failing to ensure that an acceptable level of patient care was provided. This means that potential employees and medical staff should be carefully screened and that competent staff should be maintained and monitored for proper performance.
  51. Doctrine of borrowed servant
    One who is controlling or directing the employee has greater responsibility than the one who is paying the employee. Courts frequently found that the surgeon was liable for any negligent at committed in his or her presence in the operating room under the captain of the ship doctrine. However, some rulings have found that the surgeon, under the borrowed servant rule, is not always responsible if a surgical technologist or registered nurse on the surgical team fails to carry out a routine procedure that he or she was properly educated to perform.
  52. Doctrine of foreseeability
    Foreseeability is the ability to see or know in advance; the ability to reasonably anticipate that harm or injury may result because of certain acts of omissions. The courts expect you to anticipate risks to patients. In other words, health care providers can be held liable for failure to recognize and/or failure to act on a critical event that was foreseeable.
  53. Doctrine of personal liability
    Each person is responsible for his or her own conduct, even though others may be liable as well. For example, an authority figure such as a physician assures the medical professional that he or she will take responsibility for an action; however, the health professional is still responsible.
  54. Doctrine of the reasonably prudent person
    Persons should perform an action as would any reasonable person of ordinary prudence. In law, the reasonable person is not a typical person but a collection of the community’s judgement as tohow the typical community member should behave in situations that might pose a threat of harm to the public. A standard of conduct is not established simply because the majority of people in the community behave in a certain way.
  55. Primum non nocere
    “Above all, do no harm.”
  56. Res ipsa loquitur
    “The thing speaks for istself;” harm obviously came from a given act or thing of which the defendant had sole control.
  57. Respondeat superior
    “Let the master answer”: employer is responsible for the actions of his or her employess.
  58. Tort law
    Describes any civil wrong independent of a contract. Provides a remedy in the form of an action for damages. Most actions against operating room personnel are civil actions rather than criminal and may be either intentional or unintentional.
  59. Assault
    Act that causes another person to fear that he or she will be touched in an offensive, insulting, or physically injurious manner without consent or authority to do so.
  60. Battery
    Actual act of harmful or unwarranted contact with a person, including contact without proper consent.
  61. Defamation
    Slander (oral statement) or libel (written statement) that damages a person’s reputation or good name.
  62. False imprisonment
    Illegal detention of a person without consent (e.g., use of restraints), or forcing a person to stay in an area by not allowing him or her to leave.
  63. Intentional infliction of emotional distress
    Disparaging remarks made about a patient that result in emotional distress.
  64. Invasion of privacy
    Disclosure of private information concerning a patient or photographing a patient without consent.
Card Set
Legal Concepts, Risk Management, and Ethical Issues
SRGT 1405 - Chapter 2 Vocab