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Old 03-03-2015, 08:05 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Deliberate Malpractice Question

Do physicians assistants & nurses have a equivalent to the Hippocratic Oath?

If a PA and nurse did not like a patient, so conspire to harm her via their authority in a medical office setting, and it could later be proven: would that be merely a malpractice case, or would it cross the line into criminal activity?

I mean, if they succeeded in physically harming her under the auspices of medical treatment. And it could later be proven hands-down.

Last edited by mmmhmm; 03-03-2015 at 08:12 AM.
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Old 03-18-2015, 03:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Deliberate Malpractice Question

The Hippocratic Oath is actually for doctors only. However, nurses may take a similar oath known as the Nightingale Pledge, depending on the policy of their nursing school. Whether or not they do take this oath, they are held to a professional standard of conduct.

There has been a growing number of criminal prosecutions for medical malpractice but the standard is very high and difficult to prove. The standard is that the behavior must be an extreme deviation from the civil standard of care (see below) and the nurse must also have intended to commit a crime. Also there will be no compensation to the injured patient, even if the nurse is found criminally guilty. Patients are much more successful in a civil case against the nurse.

Basically the civil standard is the same reasonable conduct that other health care practitioners are held to, which means they can absolutely not cause any unnecessary harm to their patients (obviously normal surgery can technically cause harm since it may involve making incisions, but this is a reasonable type of harm).

If a nurse fails to comply with the above standard they can be sued for medical malpractice. Some common types of unnecessary harm that nurses make are a failure to respond to a patients need for assistance, directly and physically injuring the patient (e.g. cutting the patient with a medical tool, even if accidently) or not properly administering medications. Although verbal abuse may sometimes be the cause of harm, it is difficult to prove because the patient must prove that they were severely emotionally distressed and not just uncomfortable. These types of things can happen not only in a hospital but also in retirement homes, nursing homes or even a private residence that a nurse visits.

However, medical malpractice claims may be hard to prove. Hospitals have a lot of resources at their disposal, including the ability to hire medical experts that will dispute the patient’s claim of unnecessary harm. The hospital and the nurse will usually fight aggressively and deny any claim of wrongdoing. Many times it won’t just be the nurse who caused the harm, but the hospital as well. When this happens the nurse will have the full force of the hospital’s resources at their disposal for their defense

I hope this helps! LegalMatch.com provides thousands of articles on this subject and many others that you may want to check out.
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Old 03-20-2015, 04:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It would be treated as the medical malpractice case and it is very hard to prove whether it was intentional or unintentional. If it was intentional and you have evidence then this might be come under criminal activity.
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