M.SC (N) 2 ND YEAR
SRI MUKTSAR SAHIB
ETHICAL CONSIDERATION: NEGLIGENCE,
MALPRACTICE, INVASION OF PRIVACY &
Nursing is a noble profession, which serve the
Nurse while caring the patient is bounded to some
legal and ethical responsibilities.
Whenever a nurse fails to practice safe and
standardized care and step out of her legal
boundaries, she commits a wrong act known as
A tort is a civil wrong committed against a person or
a person’s property for example: Unintentional tort
is negligence & malpractice. Intentional torts
include assault, invasion of privacy and defamation.
Negligence is an individual to do something that
a reasonable prudent person would do or the
commission of the act in particular
circumstances in standard of care to which a
nurse is legally bound, would not do under
The problems for which nurses are often found
negligent in duties they are following:
Failure to use aseptic technique where required.
Leaving a foreign object in a patient’s body during
surgery, i.e. errors in
sponge, instrument or
needle count in surgical
Failing to protect an infirm
patient from failing, falls
resulting injuries to patients.
Administering wrong medicine to a patient.
Administering a medication inappropriately, i.e.
intravenous therapy, errors resulting infiltration or
Administering a care in such a manner that a patient
suffers injury, e.g. improper handling of hot water bag,
burns to clients.
Malpractice is a negligence or carelessness by a
professional person. So, it concerns professional actions
and in failure of a person, with professional education
and skills to act in a reasonable and prudent manner.
TYPES OF NURSING MALPRACTICE
Failure to follow a Physician’s orders
Delaying patient care and/or failure to monitor a
Incorrectly performing a procedure, or trying to
perform a procedure without training
Failure to get informed patient consent.
WHY NURSING MALPRACTICE IS
Nurse who work excessively long shift may
suffer from fatigue, making them more prone to
commit an error.
In fact, a 2004 report showed
the nurses who worked a
shift longer than12.5 hours
were three times more likely
to make a mistake.
Hospitals and other healthcare facilities may hire
inadequately trained nurses or unlicensed nurse
aides to fill a need. The less training a nurse has,
the greater the risk of medical error.
Assault is any wilful attempt or threat to harm
another, coupled with the ability to actually harm
the person. The victim believes that harm caused
as a result of threat. Assault may be subtle.
involvement of nurse in handling an uncooperative
client in the casualty room.
it is an assault for a nurse to threaten to give a client
an injection or to threaten to restrain the client for
X-ray procedure when a client has refused consent.
INVASION OF PRIVACY
Clients have claims for ‘invasion of privacy’,
e.g. their private affairs, with which the public
has concern, have been publicised. Clients are
entitled to confidential health care. All aspects of
care should be free from unwanted publicity or
exposure to public scrutiny. The precaution
should be taken sometimes an individual right to
privacy may conflict with public’s right to
To pull the client information onto the computer
screen where other clients can see it.
Give out any information about a client without his
or her written consent.
Defamation is communication that is false or
made with careless disregard for the truth, and
result in injury to the reputation of a person.
TYPES OF DEFAMATION
There are two types of defamation:-
Slander defamation: is in the form of spoken words
for, e.g. if a nurse tells a client that his doctor is
incomplete, for which nurse could be held liable for
Libel defamation: is in form of written words, e.g.
the nurse who writes such a comment could be shed
How nurse can protect herself from the
LEGAL SAFEGUARDS IN NURSING
Good Samaritan Law
Standards of Care
Consent for Operation & Other Procedures
ROLE AND FUNCTIONS OF NURSE
MANAGER IN LEGAL ISSUES:
Serves as a role model by providing nursing care
that meets or exceeds accepted standards of care.
Reports substandard nursing care to appropriate
Fosters nurse-patient relationships that are
respectful, caring and honest thus reducing the
possibility of future lawsuits.
Actively supports professional organizations to
strengthen the lobbying efforts of nurses in
health care legislation.
Practices nursing within the area of individual
Prioritizes patients right and welfare first in
Delegates to subordinates wisely, looking at the
managers scope of practice and that of those they
Uses forseeability to harm in delegation and staffing
Increases staff awareness of torts and assist them in
developing strategies to reduce their liability in
Provides educational and training opportunities
for staff on legal issues affecting nursing