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Medical Law and Ethics

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Read the two attachments of the four vignettes and label them according to what type of law has been violated. The laws are:

? Criminal law
? Civil law
? Constitutional law
? Administrative law

Please give full explanations of each law!

Also, please note if they include any issues of:

? Assault and battery
? Defamation of character-libel and slander
? False imprisonment

Keep in mind that this is a medical class for radiography technology.

See the attached files.

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Solution Summary

Referring to the four vignettes, this solution labels them according to what type of law has been violated and explains the law associated with each case. It also identifies which issues are involved: assault and battery, defamation of character-libel and slander or false imprisonment. References and links for further research are also provided.

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Please refer to file response attached. I added one other resources that you may find helpful. Although it is a Minnesota document, it is likely applicable across most, if not all, states.

I. Vignette 1: Patient had a history of mental illness and suicide attempts... unauthorized and involuntary committed patient for weekend? Police strapped her down etc.

Civil Law

Issue: False Imprisonment?

Under 253B.04 Voluntary treatment and admission procedures: A person who receives treatment or is admitted to a facility under this subdivision or subdivision 1b has the right to refuse treatment at any time or to be released from a facility as provided under subdivision 2. The person or any interested person acting on the person's behalf may seek court review within five days for a determination of whether the person's agreement to accept treatment or admission is voluntary. At the time a person agrees to treatment or admission to a facility under this subdivision, the designated agency or its designee shall inform the person in writing of the person's rights under this paragraph (see http://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/stats/253B/04.html).

However, because the physician did not act in accord with these provisions under 253B.04, subsection 1(b), the patient can file false imprisonment charges. For patient's rights at http://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/stats/253B/03.html or see attachment which is hyper linked for convenience.
False imprisonment may sound like a person being dangerously restrained against their will and at risk of being seriously injured or killed. In a way, it is, but also can describe other situations, which aren't so perilous sounding. The definition of false imprisonment is the unlawful restraint of someone, which affects the person's freedom of movement. Both the threat of being physically restrained and actually being physically restrained are false imprisonment. In a facility setting, such as a nursing home or a hospital, not allowing someone to leave the building is also false imprisonment (see http://or.essortment.com/falseimprisonme_rmol.htm fro full write up). Obviously, the patient in this vignette has grounds to file false imprisonment charges. However, like all legal issues, the final decision falls in the hands of the judge and court.

II. Vignette 2: High level of alcohol injected by accident in blood—ER? What issues of wrongdoing?

Administrative or Civil

Issue: The Mental Act of God (MAOG) or Battery??

Was this an intentional act or a human error? In other words, can this be considered under the Mental Act of God or since the student was instructed to fill one syringes with alcohol, does that make this act intention by the health profession (i.e., battery)? For assault and battery charges, if the victim has been actually touched by the person committing the crime (i.e., health professional), then battery has occurred. If the victim has not actually been touched, but only threatened, then the crime is considered to be assault http://criminal-law.freeadvice.com/violent_crimes/assault_battery.htm. In this case, it would be considered battery. It seems to me that this professional was negligent in ordering the student to fill one syringe with alcohol.

Administrative Law: The Mental Act Of God (MAOG): Should people, the actors, be blamed for their errors? Should they be held responsible? Blame implies a theory that the actor can perceive incipient errors before they are executed, and voluntarily controlled to prevent their execution. Responsibility implies a theory that consequences arise because of flaws in behavior. An "Act of God" is defined thus: "In law; a direct, sudden, and irresistible action of natural forces, such as could not humanly have been foreseen or prevented." (The American College Dictionary); and thus: "Operation of uncontrollable natural forces." (Concise Oxford Dictionary). Errors, to the extent that we have data, are random; the moment when an error will occur cannot be predicted. There is no "aura" which signals to an actor that an error is about to occur. From the point of view of the actor, the error that (s)he commits is an MAOG. The actor is the victim of the error; the patient is the victim of the expression of the error in a medical setting, which permits the error to be completed and produce an injury (see http://www.expertlaw.com/library/malpractice/medical_error.html).
Mode of Error: If an error results in an action, then there is a phenomenon, which can be observed. The particular appearance of the error we may call its mode. One reasonable taxonomy of error modes is:
• ERROR OF OMISSION: an error characterized by the leaving out of an appropriate step in a process.
• ERROR OF INSERTION: an error characterized by the adding of an inappropriate step to a process.
• ERROR OF REPETITION: an error characterized by the inappropriate adding of a step normally appropriate to a process. (This may be reduced to an insertion of a step which would ordinarily be ...

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