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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
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