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Biomedical Ethics and Legal Principles. Summarize Legal Principles of Biomedical Technology. Civil law Criminal law Felony Litigation Licensure Misdemeanors Tort Contract. Liable Negligent Malpractice Slander Libel Breach of contract Duty of care Reasonable care.

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biomedical ethics and legal principles

Biomedical Ethics and Legal Principles

Summarize Legal Principles of Biomedical Technology

professional codes of conduct general legal terminology
Civil law

Criminal law












Breach of contract

Duty of care

Reasonable care

civil law criminal law
Civil Law/Criminal Law
  • Law that focuses on the legal relationships between people and protection of a person’s rights; usually involves torts and contracts
  • Law that focuses on wrongs against a person, property, or society; commonly called a crime
    • An example of criminal law pertinent to healthcare is practicing medicine without a license.
felony litigation
  • A more serious crime than a misdemeanor in which the punishment is imprisonment.
  • The determining of a person’s legal rights either by a lawsuit or some form of legal action
licensure contract
  • Process by which a government agency authorizes individuals to work in a given occupation
    • Obtaining and retaining licensure usually require that a person complete an approved educational program, pass a state board test, and maintain certain standards
    • Examples: physician, dentist, physical therapist, registered nurse, and licensed practical/vocational nurse
  • An agreement between 2 or more persons
    • Implied or expressed contract
    • Handing a patient medication and him/her taking it is an example of an implied contract
    • A surgical permit is an example of an expressed contract
misdemeanors tort
  • A less serious offense than a felony; may be punishable by a fine or sentencing to a local prison for less than one year
  • A wrongful or illegal act of civil law not involving a contract
  • To be legally responsible for failing to perform professional duties to meet the standards of care and/or causing harm or injury.
malpractice negligent
  • Providing improper or unprofessional treatment or care that results in injury to another person
    • Examples of malpractice is the doctor cuts the patient’s bladder when he was trying to take out the appendix or removes the wrong kidney
  • Failure to give care that is normally expected, resulting in injury to another person
    • Example of negligence: a health care worker leaving a hot pack in place too long and burning the patient
    • If the bath water is too hot and the patient is burned by it the nursing assistant giving the bath could be charged with negligence
slander libel
  • Spoken comment that causes a person ridicule or damages the person’s reputation
    • Example: saying very negative or untrue things about someone to other people.
  • False written statement that causes a person ridicule or damages the person’s reputation
    • Example: putting into writing very negative or untrue things about someone and sharing it with others
  • Together they are the tort defamation.
more terms
More Terms
  • Breach of Contract:
    • The breaking of a promise, agreement, or contract in which parties have agreed upon
  • Duty of Care:
    • What do you think it means?
  • Reasonable Care:
    • The legal obligation of a health care worker to provide competent care according to the expected standards of practice
malpractice liability
  • Assault:
    • physical or verbal attack on another person; treatment or care given to a person without obtaining proper consent
    • Example: a person threatening another person
  • Battery:
    • unlawfully touching another person without that person’s consent
    • Example: touching someone without their permission or not getting an informed consent signed by patient before surgery
  • Conduct:
    • the manner in which a person displays his/her behavior
  • Consent:
    • the manner in which a person displays his/her behavior
    • Example: Informed consent should be obtained before the patient is given a sleeping pill or any other kind of medication that might make them drowsy. They have to be of sound mind to make and informed consent.
  • Felony:
    • a more serious crime (definition listed earlier)
  • Illegal restraint (false imprisonment):
    • holding a person against his/her will by using a restrictive device or other means
    • Example: if the nurses kept a patient in the hospital against their will; putting a restraint on a patient without a doctor’s order
  • Invasion of Privacy:
    • Revealing the person or personal information about an individual without his or her consent
    • Example: taking a picture of a patient and giving to a newspaper reporter without the patient’s permission; not providing privacy for a patient during a bath by leaving the door open
Privileged communications:
    • All personal information given to health personnel by a patient; must be kept confidential
    • Only health care workers working directly with a patient are entitled to review confidential information about the patient – health care records are privileged communication
    • Communicable diseases are considered to be exempt from privileged communications law
    • HIPPA is the federal legislation which requires the establishment of standards to protect health information
legal directives
  • Advanced directives:
    • A legal document designed to indicate a person’s wishes regarding care in case of a terminal illness or during the dying process
    • Two types: Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney
    • They become effective when the patient loses the ability to make personal decisions
    • The hospital is required to provide information and assistance to patients wanting to prepare advance directives.
    • Federal Law PSDA of 1990 states that all health care employees participate in mandatory training about the medical and legal issues of advance directives
Living will:
    • A legal document stating a person’s desires on what measure should or should not be taken to prolong life when his or her condition is terminal
    • Will include a “DNR” order within it
  • Durable power of attorney:
    • A legal document that designates another person to make health care decisions in the event that the person is mentally or physically incapable of making their own.