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abandonment
the act of discontinuing emergency care without ensuring that another health care professional with equivalent or better training will take over (p. 50)
advance directive
instructions, written in advance, such as a living will or do not resuscitate (DNR) order. (p. 45)
assault
a willful threat to inflict harm on a person (p. 50)
battery
the act of touching a person unlawfully without his consent. (p. 50)
Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)
a federal regulation that ensures the public's access to emergency health care regardless of ability to pay. (p. 51)
defamation
an intentional false communication that injures another person's reputation or good name. (p. 50)
do not resuscitate (DNR) order
a legal document, usually signed by the patient and his physician, that indicates to medical personnel which, if any, life-sustaining measures should be taken when the patients heart and respiratory functions have ceased. (p. 45)
duty to act
the obligation to care for a patient who requires it. (p. 43)
Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA)
a federal regulation that ensures the public's access to emergency health care regardless of ability to pay. Also known as the "anti-patient dumping statute" forbidding turning a patient away at the door or sending him to a public hospital because of inability to pay. (p. 51)
expressed consent
permission that must be obtained from every conscious, mentally competent adult before emergency treatment may be provided. (p. 45)
false imprisonment
the intentional and unjustifiable detention of a person without his or her consent or other legal authority. (p. 50)
Good Samaritan law
a law that provides immunity from liability for acts performed in good faith to assist at the scene of a medical emergency unless those acts constitute gross negligence (p. 44)
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
a federal law enacted in 1996 that protects the privacy of patient health care information and gives the patient control over how the information is distributed and used. (p. 51)
implied consent
the assumption, that in a true emergency where a patient who is unresponsive or unable to make a rational decision is at significant risk of death, disability, or deterioration of condition, that patient would agree to emergency treatment. (p. 45)
informed consent
consent for treatment that is given by a competent patient based on full disclosure of possible risks and consequences (p. 45)
intentional tort
a wrongful act, injury, or damage that is committed knowingly. (p. 49)
libel
the act of injuring a person's reputation or good name in writing or through the mass media with malicious intent or reckless disregard for the falsity or those statements. (p. 50)
minor consent
permission obtained from a parent or legal guardian for emergency treatment of a minor or a mentally incompetent adult. (p. 45)
negligence
the act of deviating from an accepted standard of care through carelessness, inattention, disregard, inadvertence, or oversight, which results in further injury to the patient. Simple negligence is a failure to perform care or commission of an error in care. Gross negligence is the willful, wanton, or extremely reckless patient care that goes far beyond simple negligence or carelessness and that can be construed as being dangerous to the patient. (p. 49)
proximate cause
the act of deviating from an accepted standard of care through carelessness, inattention, disregard, inadvertence, or oversight which results in further injury to the patient. A piece of the puzzle in proving negligence. (p. 49)
scope of practice
the actions and care that are legally allowed to be provided by an EMT. (p. 43)
slander
the act of inuring a person's reputation or good name through spoken statements with malicious intent or reckless disregard for the falsity of those statements. (p. 50)
standard of care
emergency care that would be expected to be given to a patient by any trained EMT under similar circumstances (p. 43)
tort
a wrongful act, injury, or damage. see also intentional tort (p. 49)
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