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Review: Medical Law and Ethics
CyberFlex2000

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abandonment


withdrawal by a physician form the care of a patient without reasonable notice or provisions for another equally or better qualified provider to assume care; the physician improperly terminates his or her contract with the patient


abuse


wrong or improper use


advance directives


documents signed by the patient and by witnesses stating the patient's wishes for medical care should he or she become incapacitated


age of majority


age at which a person is considered an adult; this is state-dependent, but usually is 18 or 21 years old


Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)


enacted in 1990, the ASA prohibits discrimination against persons with physical or mental disabilites


battery


touching a person without his or her consent


beneficence


actions that create benefit or good


bioethics


moral issues dealing with biologic studies, research, procedures, and decisions


breach


violation of trust


civil law


type of law governing crimes or wrongs committed agains an individual or property, with charges brought forth by the individual or a representative; compensaton (usually monetary) is sought


code of ethics


a statement, usually from a pfrofessional group, stating the expected behaviors of its members


competent adult


a person who has reached the age of majority and is considered of sound mind and not under the influence of drugs or other mind-altering substances


confidentiality


protection of patient informaiton from all but authorized persons


contract


an agreement between two or more parties


criminal law


laws that govern crimes or wrongs committed against society or an individual or property in violation of an ordinance, with charges brought forth by the government; fine or imprisonment can occur


defamation


injury to a person's character or reputation by false or malicious statements


emancipated minor


a person who has not reached the age of majority but is living on his or her own and is self-supporting; a minor serving in the armed forces is considered emancipated


endorsement


a method of licensure through acceptance of a national examination score


ethics


moral principles or values or duties


expressd consent


verbal or written approval


fee splitting


a fraudeulent practice in which a physician receives money from another physician solely for referring patients to him or her


fidelity


practice of meeting patient's rights to competent care, to respect, and to adherence to laws and agreements


fraud


an act of deceiving or misrepresenting


implied consent


a patient's permission in which his or her actions indirectly indicate approval


incident report


a form that is usually required when an event occurs in a health care facility that has the potential to result in harm or loss (lawsuits); sometimes called an occurrence report


informed consent


a patient's permission for a procedure, given after receiving all the information necessary to make an educated decision


invasion of privacy


releasing patient information to unauthorized parties without the consent of the patient


justice


equitable distribution of benefits and burdens


law


a set of rules governing conduct and actions; enforced by recognized authority


libel


false or malicious writing against a person's character or reputation


malfeasance


performance of an improper act, resulting in or causing harm


malpractice


failure to act, improper performance of that act, or performance of an imporper act by a professional, resulting in or causing harm


Medical Practice Acts


laws established by each state to define medical practice, establish education requirements for physicians, describe licensing and renewal procedures and requirements, determine conditions for revoking or suspending licenses, and prohibit nonqualified individuals with or without a license from practicing medicine


misfeasance


improper performance of an act, resulting in or causing harm


negligence


commission or omission of an act that resulted in or cause harm


non compos mentis


not of sound mind


nonfeasance


failure to act when there was a duty to act, resulting in or causing harm


nonmalfeasance


actions that void harm


Patient's Bill of Rights


  • a list of reasonable expecations a patient should receive form health care professonals regarding treatment as a patient and as an individual; the lists are published by formal professional groups and health care institutions



quality improvement (QI)


measuring, inproving, and remeasuring patient outcomes based on established criteria or indicators; formerly called quality assurance


quid pro quo


"something for something;" a term generally used in sexual harassment claims, suggesting that career-advancing favors (promotions, raises) would be exchanged for sexual favors


reciprocity


the acceptance by one state of a license that is issued by another state


registration


a process similar to certificaiton in which an individual, after meeting the criteria of an organization (such as passing an exam), is listed on a state or national registry


release of medical records


a form signed by a patient or his or her legal representative allowing a health care provider to give medical information to a person or agency


reportable incidents


events or conditions that, by law, must be reproted to a designated authority


res ipsa loquitur


"the thing speaks for itself;" used to describe obvious cases of negligence


respondeat superior


"let the master answer;" the employer is responsible for the actions of an employee if the employee followed policy and procedure and stayed within the scope of his or her position


risk management


a process to routinely assess, identify, correct, and monitor any potential hazards or risks to prevent harm and loss


scope of practice


performance of duties and procedures allowed by law, standards, and educational preparation


slander


false or malicious verbal statement made against another


standard of care


uniform criterion established by an authority to determine quality or measure of health care or that is recognized as acceptable by usage


statue of limitations


a legal time limit in which a person may file suit or authorities may file charges for a violaiton


subpoena


a court order requiring an individual to appear in court on a give date and at a specific time


subpoena duces tecum


a court order requiring medical records to be brought to the court on or by a certain date and time


tort


a wrongful civil act committed against an individual for which compensation is sought


unbundling


collecting higher reimbursement by billing separately for individual components of a procedure rather than for the procedure as a whole


upcoding


an illegal practice of billing more than indicated or a procedure by selecting a higher than appropriate code


veracity


truth


vulnerable populations


a group of people who may be physically or mentally at risk for harm or exploitation