Legal issues in Nursing flashcards |

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statutory law

Law passed by the U.S. Congress or state legislatures

Nurse Practice Acts

describe and define the legal boundaries of nursing practice within each state

Regulatory law

law made by the authorities or administrative agencies

common law

(civil law) a law established by following earlier judicial decisions

criminal law

the body of law dealing with crimes and their punishment


a crime more serious than a misdemeanor and punishable by imprisonment for more than one year or death


(n.) a crime or offense that is less serious than a felony; any minor misbehavior or misconduct

civil laws

regulate relations between individuals or groups of individuals

standards of care

detailed guidelines describing the minimal nursing care that can reasonably be expected to ensure high quality care in a defined situation (eg, a medical diagnosis or a diagnostic test)

Americans with Disabilities act (ADA)

makes accessiblitiy to public buildings a civil right of all Americans


Law which states that no patient can be denied medical treatment

Mental health parity act

A statute that forbids health plans from placing lifetime or annual limits on mental health coverage that are less generous than those placed on medical or surgical benefits.

advanced directives

legal documents used to indicate care wishes and limit the amount of unwanted aggressive treatment and terminal illness. aim to provide "clear and convincing proof" of wishes

what are the types of advanced directives

living wills, and durable power of attorney

patient self determination act

requires healthcare facilities to provide written information on the patient's right to execute advance directives & to accept or refuse medical treatment

decisional capacity

is the ability to make right choices for oneself as it relates to medical care.

living wills

document that allows individuals to state what measures should be taken to prolong their lives if they have a terminal condition

durable power of attorney

a legal agreement that allows an agent or representative of the patient to act on behalf of the patient.

uniform anatomical gift act

allows person 18 years or older and of sound mind to make a gift of any or all parts of their body for purposes of organ transplantation or medical research

National organ transplant act

prohibits the purchase or sale of organs


Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act - 1996- written to protect the privacy of health info.


The right of an individual to keep biographical data, personal ideas, and feelings secret


how health care providers treat private info once it has been disclosed to others.

nursing home reform act

gave residents the right to be free of unnecessary and inappropriate restraints.

uniform determination of death act

A proposal that established uniform guidelines for determining when death has occurred.


civil wrong made against a person or property

list the three types of torts

intentional, unintentional, quasi-intentional

Intentional tort

willful acts that violate another's rights.

what are the three types of intentional torts

assault, battery, false imprisonment


intentional threat


carrying out the threat. you must have an assault to have a battery

False imprisonment

depriving a person of freedom of movement without the persons consent and without privilege

quasi-intentional tort

intent to harm is lacking.

what are the two types of quasi-intentional torts

defamation of character, and invasion of privacy

defamation of character

Damaging a person's reputation by making public statements that are both false and malicious

invasion of privacy

patient has a right to be free from unwanted intrusions

unintentional tort

describes an honest mistake by a person operating in good faith

what are the three categories of defamation of character

malice, slander, libel


person publishing info knows its false, and does it anyway


words falsely spoken that damage the reputation of another


a tort consisting of false and malicious publication printed for the purpose of defaming a living person

what are the two types of unintentional torts

negligence, malpractice


failure to take reasonable precautions to protect others from the risk of harm


failure of professional duty or professional misconduct

informed consent

consent by a patient to undergo a medical or surgical treatment or to participate in an experiment after the patient understands the risks involved

risk management

A strategy developed to reduce or control the chance of harm or loss to one's health or life; the process of identifying, evaluating, selecting and implementing actions to reduce risk to human health and to ecosystems

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