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Laws And Nursing - Essay Example

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This paper investigates the lawful side of nursing. It will discuse the informed consent. Informed consent in this matter is the most influential seeming aspect of law. It is a legal procedure that ensures the knowhow and knowledge of a patient regarding the potential risks and methods of a procedure or treatment plan…
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Laws And Nursing
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Laws And Nursing

Nursing is the art of caring and tending to an ailing person or animal or any living thing for that matter. However, unlike other arts it also bears a deep relation with science (Cubacub, 2009). Owing to its artistic side nursing involves proficiency and also set methods and science in its most technical form owing to the scientific aspect. As with every other field in this world, nursing also incorporates within it, laws and ethics with nursing laws being based on nursing ethics. Ethics according to the Oxford Dictionary is ‘principles namely moral principles that govern how a person conducts an activity and the principles that govern a person’s behavior’ (Press, Ethics, 2010) . On the other hand the Oxford dictionary defines law in these terms (putting the meaning in simple words); the system of rules which a country employs and uses to regulate and control the actions and doings of its members (Press, Law, 2010).
NMC, short for Nursing and Midwifery Council, is a council or a body that deals with almost every single side of nursing including the laws and ethics. It functions by regulating the nurses and midwives in different parts of the Great Britain such as; England, Scotland, Wales, the Islands and Northern Ireland (NMC, What we do, 2010). Their first and foremost concern is to safeguard and protect the wellbeing of public. (NMC, Factsheet: Assessment and investigation of fitness to practice referrals to the NMC, 2010) Informed consent in this matter is the most influential seeming aspect of law. It is a legal procedure that ensures the knowhow and knowledge of a patient regarding the potential risks and methods of a procedure or treatment plan (Cherry n.d.). This provides with an opportunity to the patients or clients in a health care system to make decisions regarding the matters of health and treatment plan. Consent could either be expressed or implied and depending upon the situation at hand, either one of them is applicable and mandatory (Abbas 2012). Expressed consent is the most widely used and most applicable form of consent used in clinical practice. In this form, the patient willingly and verbally gives his consent regarding a medical or health procedure, etc. On the other hand, the patient does not verbally give consent in implied consent but rather his actions or body language clearly indicate that the consent has been given for example when a patient presents his arm for the administration of an injection, etc. however, the distinction between these two becomes unclear in clinical practice and requires careful evaluation of the situation by the physician and the nurse. Considering the role of a nurse in obtaining an informed consent, it is not the nurse’s duty to explain the technical details of a medical procedure but rather that of the physician. However, she is responsible for obtaining the patient’s signature on the consent form. These signatures imply that the consent was voluntary, not coercive and authentic and also that the nurse witnessed the physician asking for consent and the patient agreeing to it (Abbas 2012). In order for a nurse to protect herself from the legal implications, obtaining an informed consent is the most important and foremost responsibility. Any nurse who fails to do so is liable to legal action. Trehan and Sankhari (2002) explain in their work that any procedure started without first informing the patient about it and obtaining his consent would be labeled as “battery” which is liable to strict legal action being a crime in nature. Moreover they elucidate that blanket consent is no more valid in essence of legality. Not only this but also it is vital to document the consent taking for future medico-legal references. Ideally, a duplicate of the consent document should be handed over to the patient so that both parties possess the requisite information with them which can be reproduced when need be (Trehan, Sankhari, 2002). As far as the legal perspectives of informed consent are considered, the ... Read More
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