Legal And Ethical Issues In Medicine

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The right of patients to make decisions about their medical care without their health care provider trying to influence the decision. A critical aspect of patient rights as well as

for protection of the health care providers involved
Ethical guidelines to be followed at work
  • Health science students are thought to know more about health care because of their work and training. People frequently ask questions about health problems and may rely on the answersgiven by the health science students.
  • Students must answer such questions with greatest care. They should always suggest the patient ask the doctor. Students should be constantly aware of their limitations in such instances.
  • Be accurate in following directions and in reporting. Report any error or accident to superior at once.
  • Take proper care of equipment and supplies. Not only is medical equipment expensive, it is inconvenient and inefficient if it is not in working order at all times. Do not steal office or hospital supplies or equipment.law-2.jpg
  • Treat co-workers with respect and courtesy. Everyone is important to the smooth operation of the health care facility.
  • Every person and every task deserves respect.
  • Complete assigned tasks. Ask questions to be sure you understand an assignment before starting it. Consult supervisor when help is needed or when you’re unsure of what to do.
  • Do not grant a patient’s request that is not mentioned on the chart without checking with the supervisor.
  • Do only those things for which training has been provided and is legally allowable.
  • Accept no money or expensive gifts from patients.
  • Respect the privacy of patients and their families.
  • Know and follow the health care facility’s rules and policies.
  • Do not discuss personal problems or affairs with patients.
  • Avoid inappropriate, flippant, or unbecoming behavior.
  • Treat all patients with kindness, compassion, and respect. Help patients to maintain their dignity and confidence.
  • Respect the religious beliefs of patients.
The mental health treatment system has an uneasy relationship with the legal system. Under certain circumstances people can be forced into mental health treatment. Here are resources concerning legal and ethical issues in mental health.



Health care workers are legally responsible for the care given to clients

  • The scope of duties a health care worker may perform is defined by their level of training and education
  • Health care workers must understand their limits and scope of practice. It is malpractice to perform skills past the level of the health care workers training and education.
  • It is malpractice to neglect to do something that is considered common practice
  • Errors may result from emotional, psychological, physical, and financial burdens being placed on all involved
  • Prevention of errors is the best solution, but the proper handling of an error when it occurs may prevent legal action


Legal (le·gal)
Function: adjective
1 : of or relating to law or lawyers
2 : based on law <a legal right>
3 : permitted by law or established rules- le·gal·ly


Ethics (eth·ics)
Pronunciation:eth-iks
Function: noun singular or plural
1 : a branch of philosophy dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation
2 : the rules of moral conduct governing an individual or a group

Moral (mor-el)
1 a : of or relating to the judgment of right and wrong in human behavior : ETHICAL b : expressing or teaching an idea of right behavior <a moral poem> c : agreeing with a standard of right behavior : GOOD <moral conduct> d : able to choose between right and wrong
2 : likely but not proved : VIRTUAL <a moral certainty>