US Health Care Legal System


USHealth Care Legal System


Constitutionallaw, Common law and Case laws

Thereare several primary sources of law in the US. The first primarysources of law are the US Constitution and the states Constitutions.Federal courts have the power to formulate the legal precedent. Anexample is the Nebraskans case study in this case the Nebraskans fora Humane Care Amendment included a statement which proposed anamendment that would respect advance directives of individuals whohad expressed language in their advance directive about thewithholding of food and water in terminal conditions. This studyaided in solving disputes and gives the importance of nurses beingattentive to legal and ethical code.


Thepresident signs a bill into law which is taken to National Archivesand Records in order to be published. The Nurses Practice Actprovides the legal authority for nurses practicing their profession.They ought to identify the laws and terms of their practice.Violation of these rights can lead to heavy penalties.


Theseinclude the practices that were traditionally followed and have beenaccepted till date. Ethical principles of autonomy which is practicedcan be easily identified in the federal HIPAA law. For example thepatient autonomy which includes the patient decision making havingaccess to information.


Thereare three elements of negligence that must be established before acase is said to fall within the corners of tort law of negligence.They include

Dutyof care

Undercommon law the state poses a duty of care among citizens as it was inDonoghue vs. Stevenson. Nurses as well have the duty to ensure thatpatients are well taken care off. For example, ensuring that theyhave the necessary basic needs such as food and water especially toadmitted patients.

Breachof duty

Thisis where one fails to exercise a standard duty of care in carryingout their duties. This can be proven by the plaintiff when claimingdamages from the defendant when he has breached his duty. When nursesfail to observe them for example failing to disclose information,they are liable.


Anotherelement of negligence is proximity where by one must show that theinjury incurred is proximate to the actions of the doer. This meansthat the injury must have resulted due to the failure of the exerciseof standard of care.


Inthis element, the acts and omissions by the defendants cause the lossor damage suffered. Though the injury does not have to be physical itmust be real. An example is when an officer fails to give appropriatemedicine to a patient and he suffers from leprosy due to him.


Pozgar,G. (2012). Legal aspects of health care administration (11th ed.).Sudbury, MA: Jones &amp Bartlett

Bal,B. S. (2009). An Introduction to Medical Malpractice in the UnitedStates. ClinicalOrthopaedics and Related Research,467(2),339–347.

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