Medical Law and Ethics

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Chapter 4 Study Questions and Answers

Define battery and give an example. Battery in the medical field can be as simple as a nurse or nursing assistant continuing to perform physical care after a patient has demanded not to be touched. Often, this form of legal tort is difficult to grasp and can be difficult to apply in real life situations. For example, (a rhetorical question), can a patient claim a tort of battery if the patient fell but the patient screams to the nurse, "Don't touch me!" Typically, patient safety comes first. The nurse or staff still has the obligation to move the patient to a secure location (bed) and to assess for injury. But, let's say this patient had a problem earlier with Nurse X and demands that nurse not touch him. If Nurse X finds him on the floor, it may be excellent for Nurse X to get other Staff to assist moving the patient to bed, rather than being by herself and risking a tort of battery. One of the most common examples of a tort of battery is to apply restraints when the patient has no order for restraints. Sometimes, facilities have standing orders that restraints can be used as long as the physician order is obtained within a very short time, 15-30 minutes. Check with a nursing supervisor about your facilities' policies and protocols. 4.What is the responsibility of the allied health professional with regard to informed consent forms and the process of obtaining informed consent? Informed consent is a legal document in all 50 states, prepared as an agreement for treatment, non-treatment, or for an invasive procedure that requires physicians to disclose the benefits, risks, and alternatives to said treatment, non-treatment, or procedure. It is the method by which a fully informed, rational patient may be involved in choices about his or her health care. Informed consent stems from the legal and ethical right the patient has to decide what is done to his or her body, and from the physician's ethical duty to make sure

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