Legal and Ethical Principles Chapter 2 Flashcards Preview

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Explain the Good Samaritan law and how those laws relate to the EMR.

Good Samaritan Laws minimize exposure to liability and encourage passerby's to provide emergency care to those in need. Those laws require the individual who is providing care to be doing so without compensation and to remain within a specified scope of practice. Depending on the specific role that you play as an EMR you may have a legal and/or ethical duty to assist those in need.


Define Duty

The legal obligation to provide care.


What is implied consent?

A legal position that assumes that an unresponsive or incompetent adult patient would consent to receiving emergency care if they could. This form of consent may apply to other types of patients. Example: the mentally ill


What is standard of care?

The care that should be provided for any level of training based on local laws, administrative orders, and guidelines and protocols established by the local EMS system.


Define ethics

The study of the principles that define behavior as right, good, and proper


Define values

The personal beliefs that determine how a person actually behaves.


Define consent

The legal term that means one needs to get formal permission for something to happen.


Define competence

The quality of being adequately or well-qualified to make decisions both physically and intellectually.


Define competent

Properly or sufficiently qualified or capable of making appropriate decisions about one's own health or condition.


What is expressed consent?

A competent adult's informed decision to accept emergency care provided by an EMR. Also referred to as informed consent.


What is informed consent?

Informed consent is the same as expressed consent; A competent adult informed decision to accept emergency care provided by an EMR.


Define unresponsive

Having no reaction to verbal or painful stimuli; previously referred to as unconscious.


Describe emancipated minors

A minor whose parents have entirely surrendered the right to care, custody, and earnings, and no longer are under any duty to support the minor. Emancipated minors are legally allowed to make their own decisions regarding medical care.


Explain refusal of care

A patient states he/she does not want care. A patient does not have to speak to refuse care. If the patient shakes his/her head no or holds up a hand to signal you to stop, the patient has refused your help. Should the patient pull away from you, know that also maybe viewed as refusal of care.


Define criminal law

The body of law dealing with crimes and punishment.


Define battery

Unlawful physical contact.


What is an advance directive?

A document that allows a patient to define in advance what their wishes are should they become incapacitated due to a medical illness or severe injury.


Explain the term mandated reporter and how it relates to the EMR.

Mandated reporters are professionals who in the ordinary course of work are required to report whenever financial, physical, sexual, or other types of abuse or neglect have been observed or are suspected. All EMRs must report certain events or conditions that they know or suspect have occurred. Those events may include such things as exposures to certain infectious diseases, suspicious burns, vehicle crashes, drug related injuries, crimes that result in knife or gunshot wounds, child and elder abuse, domestic violence and rape.


Explain the common elements of an advance directive.

1. Designation of an agent to make decisions on your behalf
2. Do not resuscitate order (DNR)
3. Choice to prolong or not prolong life
4. Pain relief
5. Donation of organs


Explain the role of the EMR when confronted with an advance directive.

The presence of a DNR order does not mean 'do not care.' As an EMR you have a duty to provide appropriate comfort and care within the bounds of the DNR (administration of oxygen). It is also within the patients rights to withdraw the DNR order at any time.


Define negligence

A failure to provide the expected standard of care.


Define civil law (tort)

A body of law that addresses and provides remedies for civil wrongs not arising out of contractual obligations.


Define breach of duty

A violation of the basic duty to act; failure to provide care to an acceptable standard.


Define duty to act

A requirement that an EMR, at least while on duty, must provide care according to the department standard operating procedures. In some locations this duty to act may apply to paid EMRs when they are off-duty.


Define abandonment

To leave the sick or injured patient before equal or more highly trained personnel can assume responsibility for care.


Describe patient confidentiality as an EMR

The treatment of information that an individual has disclosed in a relationship of trust and with the expectation that it will not be disclosed to others.


Define HIPPA

Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act (A lot of it dictates the extent to which protected health information can be shared.)


Describe medical identification devices

These devices can be in the form of a necklace, arm or ankle bracelet, or card, and is meant to alert EMS personnel that a patient has a particular medical condition such as a heart problem, allergies, diabetes, or epilepsy. If the patient is unresponsive or unable to answer questions this device may provide important medical information.


Explain the role of the EMR with respect to evidence preservation when working in or around an actual or potential crime scene.

When an EMR is providing care at a crime scene certain action should be taken to preserve evidence. Make as little impact on the scene as possible, only moving items necessary for patient care. Take special care to note the position of the patient and preserve any clothing you may remove or damage. Try not to cut through holes and clothing from gunshot wounds or stabbings. Remember to report any items you move or touch.


Which of the following terms below is best defined as what an EMR is allowed to do based on the US Department of Transportation educational standards as well as state and local statutes and regulations?

A. Standard of care
B. Scope of practice
C. Duty
D. Negligence

B. Scope of practice