Legal Aspects of Nursing – Care Example

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"Legal Aspects of Nursing" is a perfect example of a paper on care. Mrs. Fernandez, a wife to Mr. Jorge Fernandez-the deceased, is the plaintiff in a case which led to her husband’ s death. The defendants are the Doctors and the nurses who attended to her husband and the hospital where her husband died. If Mrs. Fernandez decides to carry on with the case, it will be taken to a trial court. According to The United States legal structure, the case is a civil claim. Trial courts deal with the filings and the litigations of civil crimes which are crimes against persons or related to persons in legal matters as contracts or torts.

Trial courts have jurisdiction to hear and to decide on such cases (Finkelman& Kenner 2013, 154). If the defendants are confirmed guilty, the court issues a court order for monetary damages. The order may be to pay the plaintiff a certain amount of money depending on the degree of harm, injury, or loss. It may also be an imposition on an increase in malpractice premiums for the doctors or the state licensing board may review the case and restrict or cancel the license of the nurse and/or the nurse.

Medical malpractice can take many forms including the following: misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, surgical mistakes, emergency room errors, lack of informed consent, pharmaceutical errors, birth injuries, and hospital negligence among others (Dimond 2008,67). For Mrs. Fernandez, her claims would have revolved around the delayed diagnosis and hospital negligence. However, before the defendants are found guilty of the plaintiff’ s allegations, the plaintiff should meet four basic elements that confirm medical malpractice.

These factors include: The existence of a legal duty on the part of the doctor or nurse to treat the patient. A legal duty exists whenever a doctor or a health care provider undertakes to care for or treat a patient. Breach of duty: this entails the failure of a person to provide assistance where under normal circumstances somebody else would have done so. Injury or damage: in addition to pain and suffering, the plaintiff must prove that they have suffered physical injury, lost money or the loss has resulted in a reduction of their lifestyle generally. Causation: the plaintiff must prove that the action or omission of the doctor or the nurse was the actual cause or was to a great extent the contributor to the loss (Sloan 1993, 98). According to Mrs.

Fernandez's case, and basing a strong argument on the above basic elements, the nurse, the doctor, and the hospital would be liable for the death of Mr. Jorge Fernandez. First, a reasonably prudent nurse would have the patient examined by a physician as she enquires for more information. Moreover, a nurse by profession should keep a good record and history of their patients.

Mr. Fernandez had earlier been diagnosed with high blood pressure and was still under medication. If his file existed, the nurse would have taken a quick decision on what to do to assist the deceased. Instead, she wasted a lot of time asking the plaintiff several questions to the detriment of the patient. Second, the doctor also has a case to answer because he should have maintained a good and close relationship with his patient. This eventually led to a delay in discharging his duties and hence killing the patient unintentionally.

Finally, the hospital in which the patient was taken to is liable to a great extent since its employees were the major contributors to Mr. Fernandez’ s death. The hospital can generally be sued for hospital negligence.


Dimond, B. (2008). Legal aspects of nursing. Harlow, England: Pearson Education

Finkelman, A. W., & Kenner, C. (2013). Professional nursing concepts: Competencies for quality leadership. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Sloan, F. A. (1993). Suing for medical malpractice. Chicago [u.a.: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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