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What are the four sources of Law?
- 1) Constitutional Law
- 2) Common Law
- 3) Administrative Law
- 4) Legislative Law
What is Constitutional Law?
Law based on US Constitution
What is Common Law?
Law that is derived from society's acceptance of customs & norms over time (ie. case law)
What is Legislative law?
Law created by law-making bodies such as Congress & state assemblies (ie. statutory law)
What is Administrative Law?
Law that is enacted by gov't agencies at either fed or state level (ie. regulatory law)
What are the two categories of law?
What is Criminal Law?
Division of the legal system that deals with wrongs committed against society or its members
What is Civil Law?
The division of the legal system that deals with noncriminal issues & conflicts between 2 or more parties
What is Tort Law?
A branch of civil law that deals with a civil wrong committed by one individual against another
What are the components of a Civil Lawsuit?
- 1) Incident
- 2) Investigation
- 3) Filing of the Complaint
- 4) Answering of the complaint
- 5) Discovery
- 6) Trial
- 7) Decision
- 8) Appeal
- 9) Settlement
What is scope of practice?
Range of duties & skills paramedics are allowed & expected to perform
What is certifcation?
Recognition granted to an individual who has met predetermined qualifications to participate in a certain activity
What is Licensure?
Gov't agency granting permission to a person who meets established qualifications to engage in a particular profession or occupation
What are some Common Mandated Reports?
- 1) Spouse Abuse
- 2) Child abuse/neglect
- 3) Elder Abuse
- 4) Sexual Assault
- 5) GSW or stab wounds
- 6) Animal bites
- 7) Communicable Diseases
What is Immunity?
Exemption of legal liability
What are Good Samaritan Laws?
Laws that provide immunity to certain people who assist at the scene of a medical emergency
What is Negligence?
Deviation from accepted standards of care recognized by law for the protection of others against the unreasonable risk of harm
What are the Four Elements of Negligence?
- 1) Duty to Act
- 2) Breach of that Duty
- 3) Actual Damages
- 4) Proximate Cause
What is Duty to Act?
A formal contractual or informal legal obligation to provide care
What is Breach of Duty?
An action or inaction that violates the standard of care expected from a paramedic
What is Standard of Care?
The degree of care, skill, & judgment that would be expected under like or similar circumstances by a similarly trained, reasonable paramedic in the same community
What are the 3 ways a Breach of Duty may occur?
- 1) Malfeasance
- 2) Misfeasance
- 3) Nonfeasance
What is Malfeasance?
a breach of duty by performance of a wrongful or unlawful act
What is Misfeasance?
a breach of duty by performance of a legal act in a manner that is harmful or injurious
What is Nonfeasance?
A breach of duty by failure to perform a required act or duty
What is res ipsa loguitur?
a legal doctrine invoked by the plaintiffs to support a claim of negligence (ie. the thing speaks for itself)
What are actual damages?
Compensable physical, psychological or financial harm
What is proximate cause?
An action or inaction of the paramedic that immediately caused or worsened the damage suffered by the patient
What are '4' possible defenses to Charges of Negligence?
- 1) Good Samaritan Laws
- 2) Gov't Immunity
- 3) Statute of Limitations
- 4) Contributory or Comparative Negligence
What is Confidentiality?
Prinicpal of law that prohibits the release of medical or other personal info about a patient w/o the patient's consent
What is Defamation?
An intentional false communication that injures another person's reputation or good name
What is libel?
Act of injuring a person's character, name or reputation by false statements made in writing or thru mass media with malicious intent or reckless disregard for the falsity of those statements
What is Slander?
Act of injuring a person's character, name or reputation by false or malicious statements spoken w/ malicious intent or reckless disregard for the falsity of those statements
What is Consent?
The pt's granting of permission for treatment
What is Competent?
Able to make an informed decision about medical care
What are the '4' types of Consent?
- 1) Informed
- 2) Expressed
- 3) Implied
- 4) Involuntary
What is Informed Consent?
Consent for treatment that is given based on full disclosure of information
What is Expressed Consent?
Verbal, nonverbal or written communication by a pt that he wishes to receive medical care
What is Implied Consent?
Consent for tx that is presumed for a pt who is mentally, physically, or emotionally unable to grant consent (ie. emergency doctrine)
What is Involuntary Consent?
Consent to tx granted by the authority of a court order
What is a Minor?
Depending on the state law, usually a person under the age of 18
What is an emancipated minor?
a person who is under 18 y/o who is married, pregnant, parent, member of armed forces, or financially independent & living away from home
What is Abandonment?
Termination of the medic-patient relationship without assurance that an equal or greater level of care will continue
What is Assault?
An act that unlawfully places a person in apprehension of immediate bodily harm w/o his consent
What is battery?
the unlawful touching of another person w/o his consent
What is False Imprisonment?
Intentional & unjustifiable detention of a person w/o his consent or other legal authority
What is Reasonable Force?
Minimal amt of force necessary to ensure that a violent person does not cause injury to himself or others
What are Advance Directives?
Document created to ensure that certain treatment choices are honored when a pt is unconscious or otherwise unable to express his choice of tx
What are some examples of Advance Directives?
- 1) Living Wills
- 2) Durable powers of attorney for health care
- 3) DNR orders
- 4) Organ Donor cards
What is a living will?
Legal document that allows a person to specify the kinds of medical tx he wishes to receive should the need arise
What are Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders?
Legal document that indicates to medical personnel which life sustaining measures should be taken when the pt's heart & respiratory functions have ceased
What are the characteristics of a well-documented pt care report?
- 1) Completed promptly after patient care
- 2) Its thorough
- 3) Its objective
- 4) Its accurate
- 5) It maintains pt confidentiality