LEGAL ASPECTS OF NURSING
ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THE
PRACTICE OF PROFESSIONAL
STANDARD-CLEARLY DEFINED LEGAL
EXPECTATION TO WHICH NURSES
ARE HELD ACCOUNTABLE
Professional negligence- the omission to do
something that a reasonable person, guided by
the considerations that ordinarily regulate
human affairs, would do or as doing
something that a reasonable and prudent
person would not do.
Reasonable and prudent generally means the
average judgment, foresight, intelligence, and
skill that would be expected of a person with
similar training and experience.
Malpractice- the failure of a person with
professional training to act in a reasonable and
prudent manner-also is called professional
COMPONENTS OF PROFESSIONAL
Elements of liability-Explanation Ex.giving
1.standard of care
2. standard was violated-there must have been
a breach of duty
3. foreseability of harm
4. Failure o meet the standard of care must
the potential to injure the patient.There must
be a probable correlation between improper
care and injury to the patient.
5. actual patient ijury must occur.
REDUCING RISK OF BEING SUED FOR
1. Practice within the scope of the nurse
practice act.BE VERY FAMILIAR
WITH THE PHILIPPINE NURSING
2. Beware of laws that affect nursing
3. At the start of employment, get a copy of
your job description, the agency’s rules,
regulations and policies
4. Observe agency policies and procedures
5. Model practice after established practice
6. upgrade your skills and competence. Be
sure that they are always on a high level.
7. Accept only such responsibility that is
within the scope of your employment and
your job description. Determine whether
you are competent to do the job assigned. If
you are not be hones t in admitting so and
try your best to learn it.
8. Do not delegate your responsibility to
9. Determine whether your subordinates are
competent in the work you are assigning
10. Develop good interpersonal relationship
with your co-workers, whether they by your
supervisors, peers or subordinates.
11. Consult your superiors o problems that
may be too big for you to handle.
12. Verify orders that are not clear to you or
those that seems to be erroneous
13. The Doctor should be informed about
the patient’s condition, effects of
medications and treatments, or the patient’s
lack of progress.
14. Keep in mind the value and necessity of
keeping accurate and adequate records.
15. Patients are entitled to an informed
6. Always put patient rights and welfare
7. Be aware of relevant law and legal
doctrines and combine such with the
biological, psychological and social
sciences that form the basis of all rational
8. Practice within the area of individual
7. Upgrade technical skills consistently by
attending continuing education programs
and seeking specialty certification.
8. Purchase professional liability insurance
and understand fully the limits of the
COMMON ACTS OF NEGLIGENCE
Burns, objects left inside the patient’s body,
falls of the elderly, confused, unconscious,
sedated patients, or those who are fully
recovered form anesthesia;falls of children
whose side-rails are not pulled up and
locked, failure to observe and take
appropriate action as needed.
SPECIFIC EXAMPLES OF NEGLIGENCE
1. failure to report observations to attending
2. failure to exercise the degree of diligence
which the circumstances of the particular
3. mistaken identity
4. wrong medicine, wrong concentration,
wrong route, wrong dose.
5. defects in the equipment such as
stretchers and wheelchairs, may lead to
falls thus injuring the patients
6. errors due to the family assistance.
7. administration of medicine without a
THE DOCTRINE OF RES IPSA
Respondeat superior..the master is
responsible for the acts of his servant.
The doctrine of charitable immunity
Each nurse is always held liable for his o her
own negligent practice.
INNTENTIONAL TORT-torts are legal
wrongs committed against a person or
property, independent of a contract that
renders the person who commits them liable
for damages in a civil action.
Intentional tort…assault, battery, false
imprisonment, invasion of privacy,
defamation, and slander. Intentional tort are
a direct invasion of someone’s legal rights.
ASSAULT..conduct that makes a person
fearful and produces a reasonable
apprehension of harm.
BATTERY- is an intentional and wrongful
physical contact with a person that entails an
injury or offensive touching…performing
any treatment without patient permission
or without receiving an informed consent
might constitute both assault and battery
..Use of restraints when dealing with
confused patients…also false
imprisonment…any unlawful confinement.
physical, emotional, or chemical
OTHER LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF
Reporting dangerous understaffing,
checking staff credentials, and
qualifications, carrying out appropriate
discipline. Ex. Staffs knowing how to
operate equipments safely…not
following policies and procedures,,the
chain of command in reporting
inadequate care by a physician.
Product liability…nurses must refuse to
use defective products, equipments
Guidelines for informed consent.
- person giving consent must fully
a. the procedure to be performed.
b. The risks involved.
c. Expected or desired outcome.
d. Expected complications or side effects
that may occur as a result of the
e. Alternative treatments that are
INCOMPETENCE- is the lack of ability,
legal qualifications, or fitness to discharge the
LIABILITY OF NUSES FOR THE WORK
OF NURSING AIDES
LIABILITY FOR THE WORK OF
NURSING STUDENTS…R.A. 9173..nursing
students do not perform professional nursing
LEGAL DEFENSE IN NEGLIGENCE…
Know and attain the standard of care in
giving service and document the care given in
a concise and accurate manner.
- Teleological approach” goal or
end” the right thing to do is the
good thing to do”
- Fletcher’s guidelines for making
1. consideration for people as
2. consideration ofconsequences
3. proportionate good to come
4. propriety of actual needs over
ideal or potential needs
5. a desire to enlarge choices and
6. courageous acceptance of the
consequences of the decision.
nature of the act..sense of duty and
1.duty of fidelity..telling the
truth,keeping actual implicit promises
2. duties of reparation…righting the
wrong we have done to others.
3. duties of gratitude..recognizing the
service others have done for us.
4. duties of justice..
5. duties of beneficence..helping to
better the conditions of others.
6. duties of self-improvement..bearing
ourselves with respect to virtue and
t injury to others
UNIVERSAL PRINCIPLES O
3. Beneficence..acts of kindness and
mercy that directly benefits the
- considerate and respectful care
- relevant, current and
concerning dx, tx progress, tx
risks, specific procedures
alternatives benefits to make
- Other appropriate care if refuses
- Having advanced directives
- Consider privacy in case
discussion, consultation and tx.
- Confidentiality of communication
- Continuity of care
RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE NURSE
TO THE PATIENT..Patient’s bill of
Nurse’s Bill of rights.. right to practice
in a manner that fulfills heir obligation
Right to work in an environmental
allows them to act in accordance with
professional standards and legally
authorized scope of practice.
_ that supports and facilitates ethical
practice in accordance with the Code of
-advocate themselves and clients
without fear of retribution
- fair compensation for work consistent
with their knowledge, experience, and
- safe environment
Negotiate the conditions of employment
SPIRITUAL COMMITMENTS OF
loves you and hose you fr His own.So
then, clothe yourselves with
compassion, kindness, humility,
goodness and patience.”
- doing one’sduty with a cherrful heart.
..compassionate nurse full of
sacraments, confession and
CODE OF ETHIS FOR THE FILIPINO
-CODE OF GOOD GOVERNANCE
1. SERVICE TO OTHERS
- commitment to a life of sacrifice
and genuine selflessness in carrying
out professional duties even at the
expense of personal gain.
2. integrity and objectivity..perform
duty with the highest sense of integrity
and imbued with nationalism and
4. Solidarity and teamwork
5. Special and Civic Responsibiliy
d world, global standards best global
7. Equality of all professions
AMENDED CODEOF ETHIS FOR