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Quality Nursing Practices

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    Quality Nursing Practices UNIT 3 ETHICAL AND LEGAL ISSUES IN NURSING Sturucture 3. 0 3. 1 3. 2 Objectives Introduction Definitions of Terms 3. 2. 1 3. 2. 2 3. 2. 3 3. 2. 4 Law Related Terms Nursing Related Terms Intentional Torts Consumer Protection Act (CPA) 3. 3 Ethics and Ethical Issues Related to Nursing 3. 3. 1 3. 3. 2 3. 3. 3 3. 3. 4 3. 3. 5 3. 3. 6 Definition of Ethics and Bioethics Ethical Theories and Approaches Ethical Principles Ethical Dilemma in Nursing Significance of Studying Ethics in Nursing ICN Code for Nurses 1973 3. 4 Legal and Ethical Implications in Various Nursing Situations 3. . 1 3. 4. 2 Legal Implications in Admission and Discharge of Legal Implications in Few Selected Situations 3. 4. 3 Role of Prescribing Bodies in Nursing Practice 3. 5 3. 6 3. 7 Human Rights and Rights of Elderly Summary Answers to Check Your Progress 3. 0 q q q q OBJECTIVES define terms related to legislation and Nursing; define ethics and describe various ethical issues related to Nursing; explain legal and ethical implications in various nursing situations; and describe the human rights and rights of elderly. After studying this unit, you will be able to: 3. 1 INTRODUCTION

    Nursing is defined as providing care to the healthy or sick individuals for preventive, promotive, curative and rehabilitative needs. The Consumers are patients with complex needs. With increased awareness of health care, health care facilities and Consumer Protection Act, patients/clients are getting awareness about their rights. Nurses also have now the expanded role, with the result the legal responsibility is increased. Hence, it is important for nursing personnel working in hospital, community and educational field to develop understanding of Legal and Ethical Issues of Nursing.

    You have read in Unit 2 of of this block about nursing standards for patient care. The consumers/patients have right to ask the care they are entitled for. So, in this unit the emphasis will be on legal and nursing related definitions, ethics and ethical issues related to nursing. The content also includes ethical approaches, ethical principles, ethical dilemma in nursing and significance of studying ethics in Nursing. The legal implications in various 70 nursing situations are also included. The content also provides the list of human rights and rights of elderly.

    Examples on legal and ethical issues related to nursing will provide you insight into various other situations in which the consumers/clients/patients can demand their rights for nursing care. Ethical and Legal Issues in Nursing 3. 2 DEFINITIONS OF TERMS In the following text you will study about the legal terms and terms related to nursing and intentional torts. Definition of Terms Legal Nursing Fig. 3. 1: Definition of Terms Intentional torts 3. 2. 1 Law Related Terms a) Law The term ‘law’ refers to those standards of human conduct established, and enforced by the authority, of an organised society through its Government.

    Sources of law can be Panchayat, District, State Government, Central Government, an institution or organisation. Rules and regulations related to nursing are enforced by State Nursing Council, Indian Nursing Council and Trained Nurses Assocition of the country. ‘Law’ is also defined as the sum total of manmade rules and regulations by which society is governed in a formal or binding manner. b) Act Act is a written law. When law is passed in the assembly and is approved by Government it is called as an Act. c) Legislation Oxford dictionary gives the definition of legislation as ‘the process of making laws’.

    Legislation is a method of improving public services. To control and maintain standard in nursing education and nursing practice, the nursing councils develop the Act in each state. Nursing legislation is developed in relation to nursing education, nursing practice and nursing administration. d) Licensure State Nursing Registration Act grants the nursing licensure. Licensure is a method of insuring basic competence in nursing practice. In India Licensure is for i) ii) iii) e) Registered Nurse and Registered Midwife; For Auxillary Nurse Midwife/Femal Health Worker; For Health Supervisor Female; and Legal Responsibility

    Legal responsibility refers to the ways in which a nurse is expected to follow the rules and regulations prescribed for nursing practice. These responsibilities are described by State, Central Government through service conduct rules based on standards developed by State Nursing Council and National Nursing Council. 3. 2. 2 Nursing Related Terms a) Nurse The term ‘nurse’ refers to a person who has completed a programme at basic nursing education and is qualified and authorised in her/his country to provide the most responsible 71 Quality Nursing Practices ervice of a nursing nature for the promotion of health, the prevention of illness and care of the sick (ICN Constitution as revised and adopted in 1965). b) Nursing “Nursing is primarily assisting the individual (sick or well) in the performance of those activities contributing to health or its recovery (or to a peaceful death) that s/he would perform unaided if s/he had the necessary strength, will or knowledge, it is likewise the unique contribution of nursing to help the individual to be independent of such assistance as soon as possible (Harmer & Henderson, 1955).

    Nursing is also defined as “giving of direct assistance to a person”, as required, because of person’s specific inabilities in self care resulting from a situation of personal health (Dorthea Orem, 1971). c) Nurse’s Responsibility The main responsibilities of a nurse are to provide care based on nursing diagnosis, prioritizing the needs; planning, implementing and evaluating the nursing care. Nurse provides care to the patient based on needs, respect, dignity and right without considering race, nationality, caste, creed, colour or socio economic status. ) Standards American Nurses Association (ANA) defines standards as an ‘authoritative statement by which the quality of nursing practice, service or education can be judged. For example, one of the standards in mental health nursing (by ANA) is; ‘Clients are involved in the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of their nursing care programme to the fullest extent of their capabilities. e) Malpractice Professional misconduct; negligence performed in professional practice; any unreasonable lack of skill in professional duties or illegal or immoral conduct that result in injury or death to the client/consumer. ) Negligence Negligence is described as lack of proper care and attention; carelessness; ‘An act of carelessness’ (Oxford Dictionary). The law imposes certain specific responsibilites on the nurse with respect to both the duty and the standard of care to be given to a patient. Negligence by the nurse can be explained as: i) ii) iii) iv) v) the failure to do something that a nurse guided by those considerations that ordinarily regulate the conduct of nursing would do. oing something that a prudent and reasonable nurse would not do. the failure to expertise ordinary care under circumstances. conduct that a reasonably prudent nurse should realize that not to get involved in an unreasonable risk of invading a patient’s interest. failure to do an act that is necessary for the protection or assistance of a patient. The few examples of common areas of negligence in which nurse will be held responsible are: q q armful objects left near the patient with suicidal ideation not following Five ‘R’ (Rights) and causing harm to the patient by giving wrong medicine causing thermal, chemical, physical injuries to the patient fall of patient, under sedation, after operation recovering from anesthesia, semi conscious state, and person suffering from dizziness failure to observe and take appropriate action failure to inform to the team members about untoward effect observed in patient absconding of patient loss/damage of patient’s property q q q q q 72 q q q oreign object left in patient’s body during the surgery due to wrong counting delay in obtaining help for patient Ethical and Legal Issues in Nursing g) Informed Consent All patients should be given opportunity to grant informal consent. Informed consent implies to when patient is given the complete knowledge and understanding about any treatment/procedure and agrees to sign for treatment/procedure. For any procedure/treatment consent is required according to the institutional policies. Nurse must witness while doctor gives explanation of a procedure/treatment in detail before taking the consent.

    Sometimes an information leaflet/pamphlet can be prepared for patient to read. Nursing Personnel must keep in mind the following point: — — — — — Patient can consent for herself/himself or legally authorize someone to consent for her/him. If a patient is below 18 years of age, then the legal guardian has to give the consent. Consent should be taken from the spouse or legal guardian if a person has mental disorder or mental incompetence. Consent of husband and wife should be obtained for legal abortion. Legal policy need to be followed for the consent for an orphan according to the State. . 2. 3 Intentional Torts Intentional torts are, when others interfere in individual’s privacy, mobility, property or personal interests. These rights of the individual should be protected. Intentional torts can be Assault, Battery, False imprisonment or defamation. a) Assault: It is the unjustifiable attempt to touch another person or the threat to do so in such circumstances as to cause the other reasonably to believe that it will be carried out. Battery: It involves an intentional act that is harmful or offensive – touching another person without that person’s consent.

    False Imprisonment: It is an intentional act which prevents an individual from moving about where s/he wants to be. Defamation: Publication of a false statement about an individual made either verbally or in some other form to the third person, which damages his/her reputation. b) c) d) 3. 2. 4 Consumer Protection Act (CPA) CPA is an act which came into force in the year 1986 in India and was amended in 1993. The objective of CPA is to protect and promote the interests and rights or consumer. To meet the demands of consumers, the consumer courts are established at district level, state level and national level. . 3 ETHICS AND ETHICAL ISSUES RELATED TO NURSING Ethics and ethical issues related to nursing are an important area of concern while dealing with human being. Let us first clarify the difference between ethics, morals and bioethics. 3. 3. 1 Definition of Ethics It is a branch of philosophy which is concerned with human character and conduct. Ethics are defined as the science of moral in human conduct. q Morals are ‘oughts’ and ‘shoulds’ of society whereas ethics are the principles behind the ‘shoulds’, the ‘whys’ of moral codes are statements. 73

    Quality Nursing Practices Study of ethics can help health professionals in making decision in ethical dilemma, by learning what should be considered in carrying out ethical responsibilites. q Bioethics refer to concerns, choices around such health care issues as longevity versus freedom from illness, rights of individual versus rights of society. Code of ethics is often considered as an essential characteristics of a profession and provides the means for professional regulation. Code of Ethics for nurses will be discussed under sub section 3. 3. 6.

    Check Your Progress 1 1) Match the following: Column A a) b) c) those standards of human conduct established and enforced by the authority/governance It is a written law which is passed in seembly and approved by the government these are authenticated statements by which the quality of nursing practice, service of education can be judged misconduct, negligence performed in Professional practice an intentional act that is harmful or offensive touching of another without his/her consent i) ii) iii) iv) v) vi) vii) Column B Act Legislation Malpractice Standards Assault Law Battery d) e) 2)

    Fill in the blanks: a) b) c) d) Process of making law is referred as ……………………. When the patient is given complete knowledge and understanding about treatment/procedure, it is referred as ……………………. The Consumer Protection Act was established in ………… in India and was amended in …………….. The branch of philosophy concerned with human character and conduct is referred as ……………………. 3. 3. 2 Ethical Theories and Approaches The most significant Ethical theories/approaches can be classified as: a) b) Deontologic approach Utilitarian approach

    Deontologic Approach The word Deontology is derived from a Greek word ‘Dean’ meaning duty and ‘Logo’ means discuss. The approach is substantially derived from the writings of Immanuel Kant. It emphasis on: i) Duties derived from the supreme principle of morality known as ‘categorical Imperative’. It is explained in nursing by Kant that “Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in person of another, always at the same time as an end and never simply as a mean. It also emphasis on right or wrong irrespective of person, situation, time, and circumstances.

    It is also based on ethical actions, principles and rules. ii) iii) 74 For examples code for nurses prescribed by ANA describes about Deontological approach. Also another example is lying or killing is wrong. Let us clarify with the help of example. A Head Nurse/Nurse In-charge using deontological approach would apply rules relevant to a situation. Use of restraints which may be to prevent patient from harming herself/himself would demand the In-charge to act from conscience, faith or duty in making such a decision. The nurse In-charge would make a decision which is based on moral rule.

    As per deontological approach, right and wrong of an act is determined by feature of an act or its consequences. Utilitarian Approach Utilitarian approach is concerned with the end product of action. What are the consequences of action. The end product, goal or consequence of the action is important. This theory has been emphasized by David Hume and others. The Emphasis in the theory is on: greatest goods for the greatest number. No acts are right or wrong. The right act is the one that leads to the greatest good consequences or least possible consequences for all persons affected.

    It emphasis on how certain action affect the general welfare in all given situations. It is more a community ethic: for example how are the resources of health care allocated? Egoistic/Hedonistic Approach In egoistic approach, the solution to the problem is based on what is best for one self. The nurse acting as per the egoistic approach feels that whatever decision s/he has made is best for the patient, and with such a decision nurse feels comfortable. The decision may not have any benefit/harm for the patient or relatives.

    According to this approach the patient is not the primary consideration. For example a nurse plans to give bath to all the patients at 8 O’clock in the morning or all patients should be given medicine at 8 O’clock in the morning are examples of Egoistic/Hedonistic approach. The nurse is dealing with human beings who have complex s/he needs to be flexible in her/his approach. Ethical and Legal Issues in Nursing 3. 3. 3 Ethical Principles In addition to learning about ethical approaches/theories it is significant for you as a nurse to know some of the Ethical Principles.

    The important ethical principles are: Ethical Principle of Respect for Autonomy This principle involves two concepts: a) Respect for a Person; b) Autonomy. a) Respect for a person involves level of understanding of another person or empathy and reducing exploitation. For example, if patient is talking to a nurse about how upset patient is because of sickness. Nurse needs to allow/encourage the patient to talk because being a bread earner in the family, having dependent family members, patient is worried. Nurse is able to empathize with him when he says “he is upset because of his sickness”.

    Autonomy means self-determining action. It is an ethical action on the part of nurse to allow the patient to make decision for surgery. Once the nurse has explained the pros and cons of surgery, it should be determined by the patient himself/herself. b) Ethical Principle of Beneficence Frankena (1973) identified the following four components of this principle: 1) 2) 3) 4) One ought not to inflict evil or harm One ought to prevent evil or harm One ought to remove evil One ought to do or promote good Let us relate these principles in nursing situations.

    Nurse avoids causing harm to the patient by ensuring that hot water bag, given to the patient, is covered properly, and closed tightly. Nurse ensures that s/he prevents harm to the patient by explaining to people and putting “no smoking zone” poster when the patient is on oxygen. One ought to remove evil or harm can be explained in nursing situation by ensuring that an unconscious patient may fall from the bed. This can be prevented by putting the railing of bed to avoid fall. One ought to do or promote good.

    In this regard nurse provides health education to an antenatal mother about the Antenatal check up and preparation and care of new born. 75 Quality Nursing Practices Ethical Principle of Justice and Fairness The basic principle is that each person has equal right to the liberty available to everyone. For example, staff nurses holding some qualification, work load, and merit should receive similar salaries which others are receiving. 3. 3. 4 Ethical Dilemma in Nursing Now that you have read about ethical theories or approaches and/ethical priciples let us discuss some of the common ethical dilemma which is faced by nursing personnel.

    Some of the examples are: a) Ethics and Genetics q q q q q Should the nurses advise the mothers on rights and choices of having a child? Can the use of contraception be advised based on women’s choice? How about aminocentesis. A woman has three daughter’s and husband wants her to have son leading to abortion. Would an infertile mother go for artificial insemination or test tube babies? If couple has history of MR in the family would they agree for abortion or like to take chance? b) Ethics and Birth Control q

    A nurse bound by religion, should s/he advise a specific type of birth control method or sterilization? c) Ethics and Nursing the Terminally Ill Patient The important concept to discuss under this heading is much talked about term, i. e. Euthanasia. Euthanasia refers to mercy killing. It can be direct or indirect euthanasia. i) Direct euthanasia is also called as Active euthanasia in which the health professional adopt the methods of direct killing. For example injecting a drug, removing the O2 or removing the life support devices. Indirect euthanasia also called as passive euthanasia.

    For example, neglecting the patient or letting the patient die without food and treatment. Though the truth is that nurses receive far more requests from patient for euthanasia than Doctors, should the nurses practice the mercy killing? Ethics and HIV positive patient ii) iii) iv) Should the nurse inform to the patient’s spouse about the HIV positive status? These were few of the examples about the ethical dilemma nurses face while practising. It is further discussed under sub-section 3. 4. 2 (d). 3. 3. 5 Significance of Studying Ethics in Nursing

    In any professional setting or work environment, there are certain ways which are accepted by the professional body and so is true in nursing too. It is important to study ethics in nursing because: q q q q q q q Goal of nursing is to provide care to the people with respect and dignity. Nurses work with human beings and human beings are central focus. Professional nurses accept the responsibility for making decisions and taking action regarding health and illness. For example, nurse feels her best judgement is what patient needed and not what patient wants to do.

    Nurses work in variety of setting and assume various roles that require interaction with client, family and team members. Nurse may come across various conflicting situations, while working in hospital and community, where knowledge of the ethics will help her/him to resolve the issues. Knowledge of ethics enables the nurse to make decisions as per the situation. Knowledge of learning about ethics helps the nurse to understand her/his accountability toward care provided to the patient. 76 3. 3. 6 International Council of Nursing (ICN) Code for Nurses (1973) i) Ethical Concepts Applied to Nursing Ethical and Legal Issues in Nursing The fundamental responsibility of the nurse is fourfold: to promote health, to prevent illness, to restore health, and to alleviate suffering. The need for nursing is universal, inherent in nursing is respect for life, dignity and rights of individual. It is unrestricted by considerations of nationality, race, creed, colour, age, sex, politics or social status. Nurses render health services to the individual, the family and the community and coordinate their services with other team members. q q ii)

    Nurses and People q The nurse’s primary responsibility is to those people who require nursing care. q The nurse, in providing care, promotes an environment in which the values, customs and spiritual beliefs of the individuals are respected. q The nurse holds in confidence personal information and uses judgement, in sharing this information. Nurses and Practice q The nurse carries personal responsibility for nursing practice and for maintaining competence by continual learning. q The nurse maintains the highest standards of nursing care, possible within the reality of a specific situation. The nurse uses judgement in relation to individual competence, when accepting and delgating responsibilities. q The nurse, when acting in a professional capacity, should at all times maintain standards of personal conduct which reflect credit upon the profession. Nurses and Society q The nurse shares with other citizens the responsibility for initiating and supporting action to meet the health and social needs of the public. Nurses and Co-workers q The nurse sustains a cooperative relationship with co-workers and other fields. The nurse takes appropriate action to safeguard the individual when his care is endangered by a co-worker or any other person. Nurses and the Profession q The nurse plays the major role in determining and implementing desirable standards of nursing practice and nursing eduction. q The nurse is active in developing a core of professional knowledge. q The nurse, acting through the professional organization, participates in establishing and maintaining equitable social and economic working conditions in nursing. iii) iv) v) vi)

    The professional code of ethics in nursing serve as standards for the behaviour of nurses and provide general guidelines for nursing actions in ethical dilemmas. Check Your Progress 2 1) List the three significant ethical theories/approaches a) b) c) 2) ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    List six Major areas described by ICN uinder code for Nurses a) b) ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. ………………………………………………………………….. ………………………………………….. 77 Quality Nursing Practices c) d) e) f) ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 3. 4 LEGAL AND ETHICAL IMPLICATIONS IN VARIOUS NURSING SITUATIONS Now that you have read about ethics, ethical approaches and few of the examples of nursing applied in ethical principles. The subsequent text will include the legal and ethical implications, in selecting nursing settings.

    While working in different specialities, for example, paediatric, maternity ward, operation theater, casualty, you have to follow the policies laid down in each ward, to prevent the legal issues related in nursing care. In this section some of the common situations are discussed to give you an overall view. 3. 4. 1 Legal Implications in Admission and Discharge a) Admission and Discharge of Medico-Legal Cases (MLC) While providing nursing care in any Medico-Legal Case, as a nurse you must take care of the following areas: q q After receiving the patient in OPD, immediately inform the physician.

    All the OPD records, admission cards, and other records of patient should be kept under lock and key. No records of patient should be shown to anyone else than the physician looking after the patient. All the belongings of the patient should be kept under safe custory. If relatives or police want to take the belongings of patient, the prior permission of physician is important. Description of the belonging should be written. Relationship with the patient, signature and thumb impression should be obtained from the person collecting the belongings. Body discharge of the patient should not be thrown until confirmed by the physician.

    Accurate recording of body discharge, its quantity, colour and consistency should be maintained. Don’t destroy/discard any evidence without discussing with physician. Take consent of relative or patient (if patient is conscious) for any kind of procedure/ treatment. Allow the relative to be with the patient on request of patient. Avoid answering enquiries to an insurance agent. The condition of patient should be reported verbally only. It is not obligatory on the part of nurse to provide information to the police officer, to the press reporter or any agent of the public.

    In case of any difficulty s/he may inform the immediate higher authority. q q q q q q q q q q On Discharge q If patient is transferred from one ward to another, or to any other hospital, it should be clearly entered and signed. No records should be handed over to police. If required, physician attending the patient should give in writing to Nurse. Name and address of the relative should be written clearly before allowing the patient to leave the hospital. q q 78 q q Physician must inform the discharge of patient to Chief Medical Officer (CMO).

    Discharge notes should be kept under lock and key, until handed over to the department concerned. Ethical and Legal Issues in Nursing In Case of Death of Patient q If death occurs in the hospital, Physician on duty must inform the CMO and withhold the body for post mortem examination according to hospital policy. Nurse must get written instruction from the medical officer for handing over the body to mortuary/relative/police officer with: – – – – complete name and signature complete address of the person from mortuary/relative/police officer identification number signature of witness q q q List of all articles of patient should be made in triplicate while handing over the body. Maintain the privacy of the dead body while attending last offices or care of the dead. All the articles should be disposed off, after making list and with approval of medical officer. b) Role of Nurse in Admission and Discharge of Mentally Ill Patients As per the Indian Mental Health Act, 1987 (which is an amendment of the Indian Lunacy Act, 1912) “Mentally ill patient gets admitted on a voluntary basis (except a minor).

    After 24 hours, a board should decide regarding continuation of treatment or discharge of the patient”. Admissions can be made under special condition where patient is brought by relative, friend or neighbour. Application form for admission is accompanied by report of two medical officers out of which one should be in government service. Discharging a Patient with Mental Illness As a nurse you must remember that: q Voluntarily admitted patient may ask for discharge and psychiatrist/medical officer on duty will make discharge slip.

    Check the signature of the patient and relatives/witness. Note the address of patient on discharge. q q c) Discharge of Patient in Other Conditions In section 3. 4. C the discussion was on patients with Medico-legal cases and Mental illness. In the following text you will read about some of the following conditions in which legal implications are involved. Lama (Left Against Medical Advice). Parole (Mentally ill patient goes home on leave). Absconding (Patient runs away from the hospital without informing any one). ) Lama Patient leaves against medical advice, when the patient and relatives are not satisfied of the treatment in the hospital. If the patient is in a critical condition, as a Nurse, your responsibility is to: 1) 2) 3) explain about the critical condition of the patient to relatives, inform the medical officer, and get it written from the medical officer that patient can go on LAMA, signature of relative should be taken in which s/he writes that s/he is taking full responsibility of taking away the patient, that the Doctors and nurses have explained the critical condition, and the risk of taking away the patient, 9 Quality Nursing Practices 4) 5) if it is a hospital policy, the life support system should not be withdrawn, all the records should be kept under lock and key. ii) Parole In parole, patient has not been discharged from the hospital, but is away for two/three days or more. After submission of application by the relatives with approval of psychiatrist the patient goes home. Sometimes the patient does not come back after parole. In that case the discharge procedure should be followed as discussed in section 3. . 1(b). iii) Absconding If the patient runs away from the ward/hospital, it becomes a major responsibility of a nurse. To avoid this problem you must remember the following: q Check the number of patients admitted, with the actual number of patients present in the ward while handing over, and taking over, during change of shifts. Inform immediately the CMO, if any patient is reported absconded, in writing and get is signed. Record of absconded patient should be kept under lock and key. q 3. 4. Legal Implications in Few Selected Situations a) Examination of Female Patient When the female patient is being examined by male Dr. , nurse must ensure that she should: q q q q q maintain total privacy during the physical examination. be present during the physical examination of the female patient. expose the patient as little as possible. protect the right of the patient if she refuses to be examined by a male doctor. discourage repeated examination of breast, abdomen and perineal part of patient. ) Legal Responsibility of Nurse while Administering Medication “5R” must be kept in mind while giving medication to the patient, that is right medicine, to right patient, in right dose, through right route, and at right time. It is essential for you to keep the following points in mind while giving medication to the patient. q q q q q No verbal instructions from physician should be carried on for giving medicine. There are limited number of days for administering antibiotics. Strict monitoring of medicine, especially ones which may change the blood chemistry (Heparin, Digoxin).

    Measuring of liquid medicines at eye level. Error cause in medication, by a nurse should be reported immediately, though at times the nurse may feel: – – – – there is no need to inform if informed, ‘I will be labeled as careless nurse’. there may be punishment. to wait for consequences. Where the fears may be, it is important to save the life of human being. q Ensure that all the medicine containers are labeled clearly. c) Nursing Records and its Legal Implications On admission of patient to the hospital, various records are maintained.

    Some of them are: – – – – 80 Nurse’s Notes T. P. R. records Poisonous and essential drugs records Admission and Discharge records. The nursing care records are important, as these may be required by: – – – – – – – – – employer (For employment, promotion, disposition) Court of law for various purposes Used for a Job, and leave from work place Lawyers use it for divorce, compensation, liability Damages against negligent act Execution of will Medico legal reasons For use in consumer court Any other. Ethical and Legal Issues in Nursing

    Discharge records should be kept under the lock and key, until they are handed over to the medical record section. Discharge record should include: – – Date of admission of patient Diagnosis d) Euthanasia Euthanasia denotes killing someone on account of his/her distressing physical and mental state. Euthanasia is an act or practice, of painlessly putting the person to death, to relieve him/her from suffering of an incurable or a distressing disease. Voluntary euthanasia is at the request of person himself.

    Euthanasia, even if voluntary, is criminal in almost all the countries including India. Active/Direct and Passive/Indirect euthanasia is discussed in detail under section 3. 3. 4. There are lots of questions related to euthanasia. The parents of new born, with congenital defects may tell the doctor not to take extraordinary measures to save the life. If doctor agrees, that means the treatment will not start and eventually the child may die. It becomes more complicated in case of mentally incompetent person. Should the life support be withdrawn? It has gone through ethical debate.

    Who should make the decision? A family The physician Family and physician An ethics committee & The legislative/court – – – – Who may have guilt feeling throughout life Whose oath does not permit both should be protected together by Court of Law It is difficult to come to the Conclusion Over a period time, it is said that if relatives agree, and physician ascertains, that without life support measure may declare a patient having ‘Brain Death’. Should the life support system be withdrawn is questionable? “In no case nurse should participate in euthanasia. You must have noticed as a community health nurse, that a mother who has pressure of inlaws and husband to produce a son neglects a female baby, by not feeding, not bothering if the baby is getting choked. This is an example of massive murder. As a community health nurse, you need to intervene and help the mother, and family members to accept the baby. e) Organ Transplant and Sale of Organs of Human Body Though transplantation of human organs has become the need of medical technology to save life, still some of the organs cannot be transplanted from the ‘live person’ such as heart, cornea and liver.

    Some transplants can be made from ‘live or dead’ persons like kidney, skin graft, etc. If it is from the live person like kidney/skin graft, informed consent should be taken from donor. In case of ‘dead donor’ it is important to get the consent signed by relatives as per the desire of the deceased. As a nurse, you should be aware, that an uninformed donor prepared under sedation for removal of any part is criminal in the court of law. Similarly, sale of organs of human body, 81 Quality Nursing Practices is prohibited. In no case, a nurse must participate in these unethical/criminal decision knowingly or unknowingly.

    As a nurse researcher/medical researcher there may be certain areas in which you can improve the care of patient by experimentation. It should be discussed in research ethical committee and decision should be made by the patient, doctor and the nurse. “In no condition, the patient should be deprived of the normal/basic and essential medical and Nursing Care During Research Study. ” f) Sterilization and Abortion For sterilization of male/female individual it is essential to: – – – Get the informed consent signed by both the husband and wife.

    Though woman has right on her reproductive system, but socio-culturally and legally it has not been practised. Eugenic sterilization to prevent procreation of the unfit such as mentally retarded, mentally ill, habitual criminal and sexual deviates, is practised in some part of the world. But each case is taken independently. Though, many a times in spite of sterilization of individual, the couple has a child, medical team is protected by law (in India). – As a nurse, you need to: – – – Educate couples for using various methods.

    Provide guidance and counselling for sterilization and various contraceptive methods. Give ample time to the couple to make decision. It is totally a voluntary decision of woman/man, unless there is a government policy. g) Practice by the Nurses Which may be Considered Unethical Practising in the medical/gynaecological areas for which s/he is not prepared. For example: – – – – – – – – – prescribing medicines doing decaputation of still birth baby conducting obstructed labour, which may cause threat to the life of the mother or the baby conducting delivery when he presentation is placenta previa getting registration done by false means dishonest use of certificates (may be for higher education) getting oneself registered as a doctor. However, nurses can practice (RNRM). taking bribes conduct of derogatory to nursing profession. Theft, cheating, immoral act, habitual use of drugs. The States Nursing Registration Act has authority to take action against any of the above unethical activities of nurse and cancel her/his registration. 3. 4. 3 Role of Prescribing Bodies in Nursing Practice There is no legislation developed for Nursing Practice in India.

    The control in nursing practice varies from state to state, as health is a state subject. Any professional nurse is accountable to patient care as per the rules and regulations prescribed by various state councils, government or institution. The professional Association also has an important role in facilitating the maintenance of nursing standard. 82 RULES PRESCRIBING BODIES FOR NURSING Ethical and Legal Issues in Nursing Councils Acts q q Goverment v Institution v Professional Association Trained Nurses Assn. of India v State Registration Councils Indian Nurses Council

    While reading the different course matieral you would also read the role of nurse in casualty department, operation theater, maternity and nursing unit like paediatric and psychiatric wards. 3. 5 HUMAN RIGHTS AND RIGHTS OF ELDERLY As a nurse, it is important for you to know the rights of an individual. It will help you to exercise your own rights, and help the patient to get the care according to his/her right under the Constitution. Universal Declaration of Human Rights (abbreviated) On December 10, 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    Article 1 Article 2 Article 3 Article 4 Article 5 Article 6 Article 7 Article 8 Article 9 Article 10 Article 11 Article 12 Article 13 Article 14 Article 15 Article 16 Article 17 Article 18 Article 19 Article 20 Article 21 Article 22 Article 23 Article 24 Article 25 Article 26 Article 27 Article 28 Article 29 Article 30 Right to Equality Freedom from Discrimination Right to Life, Liberty, Personal Security Right from Slavery Right from Torture, Degrading Treatment Right to Recognition as a person before the Law Right to Equality before the Law Right to Remedy by Competent Tribunal Freedom from Arbitrary Arrest, Exile Right to Fair Public Hearing Right to be Considered Innocent until Proven Guilty Freedom from Interference with Privacy, Family, House and Correspondence Right to Free Movement in and out of the Country Right to Asylum in other Countries from persecution Right to a Nationality and Freedom to change it Right to marriage and Family Right to own property Right to Belief and Religion Right to Opinion and Information Right to Peaceful Assembly and Association Right to Participate in Government and in Free Elections Right to Social Security Right to Desirable Work and to join Trade Unions Right to Rest and Leisure Right to Adequate Living Standard Right to Education Right to Participate in the Cultural Life of Community Right to Social Order assuring Human Rights Community Duties essential to Free and Full Development Freedom from State or Personal Interference in the above Rights. v q q Central State Service conduct rules Rules and regulations of institution 83 Quality Nursing Practices

    India : Fundamental Rights Article 14 Article 15 Article 16 Article 19 Article 19 Article 19 Article 19 Article 19 Article 19 Article 20 Article 21 Article 22 Article 22 Article 23 Article 24 Right to Equality before the Law Freedom from Discrimination Right to Equal Opportunity in Public Employment Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression Right to Assemble Peacefully without Arms Right to Form Associations or Unions Right to Move Freely Right to Settle and Reside Anywhere in the Country Right to Practice any Profession, Occupation, Trade or Business Right not to be Convicted of Offences not Crimes at time committed Right to Life and Personal Liberty Right not to be Detained without being informed of reasons Right to Consult with, and be defended by, a Lawyer after Arrest Right Against Trafficking in Human Beings and Forced Labour Right Against Employment of Children (Under 14 years) in Factories, Mines or Dangerous Jobs Article 25-28 Right to Freedom of Conscience and Freedom of Religion Article 29 Right to Protection of Cultural Rights of Minorities Article 30 Right to Protection of Educational Rights of Minorities Article 32 Right to Approach the Supreme Court if Rights violated Rights of Elderly Patients You have read about human rights. In the following paras the emphasis will be on rights of older adults or elderly people. As nurses, it is important for you to know about the rights of elderly, so that, you can help them in the community and hospital, if required. On 16 December 1991, the United Nation’s General Assembly adopted a Resolution 46/91 for older persons “to add life to the years that have been added to life”. All the governments in the world were encouraged to incorporate the principles in their national programmes wherever possible. The right of older adults are as follows: q q q q q

    Right for Independence Right for Participation Right for Care Right for Self-fulfilment Right for Dignity. Recording should be done clearly, neatly and accurately with signature for authentication. Check Your Progress 3 1) Define the following terms: a) Lama ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. b) Parole ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… c) Absconding ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 84 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 2) List five important situations in which nursing records may be required. a) b) c) d) e) ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. Ethical and Legal Issues in Nursing 3) Define the term Euthanasia. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 4) List the rights of Older Adults/Elderly Patients. a) b) c) d) e) ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 3. 6 LET US SUM UP In this unit, you have read about ethical and legal issues in nursing. You must have comprehended the meaning of some of the common legal terms. As you know, ethics play a very important part while providing nursing care, and there are many ethical dilemma you must be facing while practicing in the hospital and community. You have also read about ICN Code of Ethics for nurses, which is also adopted by Trained Nurses Association of India (TNAI). Few examples on admission and discharge, of medico-legal cases and mentally

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