Nursing Malpractice by Charles C. Sharpe

By Charles C. Sharpe

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The merits of the hospital's policies and procedures and the content of their standards of care will, to some extent, be dictated by the level of care provided by the hospital, its location, and its affiliations—if any. A university medical center may be held to higher standards than those expected of a rural community facility. However, this is no guarantee of a higher caliber of patient care. A hospital may draft and implement standards of care that are superior to those it has considered as prevalent in its general area of service.

The legal duty, therefore, is one of reasonable care, and the law will protect only the nurse who pro- 32 Nursing Malpractice vides such care. The Good Samaritan law cannot be invoked if one is grossly negligent. Once the nurse initiates intervention, the victim becomes his or her "patient," and the nurse is then required to remain with the patient until one of the following events releases him or her from this duty: • The victim refuses intervention or directs the effort cease. • It is readily apparent that the victim is in no imminent danger.

There was a disclosure of such information or facts to a party or parties who had no right to know or need to know. Generally, any damages awarded in a case of invasion of privacy will be for the mental distress and emotional suffering that any normal, sensible person would be likely to suffer under the same or similar circumstances. Truth, a defense in libel and defamation, is not a defense in the tort of invasion of privacy. Breach of Confidentiality Breach of confidentiality is a failure on the part of a professional to keep all privileged, confidential information private.

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