Ethics in critical care


Ethics in critical care
–    Bioethics: the study of the” moral and conceptual problems associated with health care and the biomedical sciences”
–    Process of ethical reasoning:
•    Review the fact
•    Define the problem
•    List the choice
•    Decide on an action
•    Evaluate the choice
Legal issues in critical care

–    Understanding and applying a few legal principles will help critical care nurses to protect themselves against lawsuits which several factors may account for this lawsuits:
–    The competency and accountability of critical care nurse.
–    The advanced technologic skills required in all aspect of critical care nursing
–    The relatively low nurse-patient ratio in critical care areasBasic legal issues to avoid lawsuits
–    Standards of care “The minimum level of care provided by a given profession that is considered adequate“
–    Negligence and malpractice:
–    Carelessness
–    Malpractice is the failure of a professional person to act in accordance with existing professional standards)-
–    Medication errors, pt falls.

Basic legal issues to avoid lawsuits continue
–    Intentional torts:
–    Assault and Battery
–    Quasi-intentional torts:
–    Invasion of privacy
–    Defamation
–    Liability and the critical care nurse:
–    Supervisor liability
–    Expanded roles in nursing

Note: Specific legal concerns in critical care
•    Informed consent
•    Do-not-resuscitate (DNR)

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