Law as a tool to promote healthcare safety
Source:Clin Gov. 19(2):172-180.
Pubmed Central ID:PMC4741097
Funding:CC999999/Intramural CDC HHS/United States
The purpose of this paper is to inform healthcare providers and healthcare facility leadership about the statutory, administrative, criminal, and tort law implications related to preventable harms from unsafe injection practices.
Review of legal theory and precedents.
The law can address disputes over unsafe injection practices in a variety of ways. Administrative agencies may hold a provider or facility responsible for preventable harms according to specific statutory and regulatory provisions governing licensure. State courts can compensate victims of certain actions or inactions based on tort law, where a breach of a legal duty caused damages. Prosecutors and the public can turn to criminal law to punish defendants and deter future actions that result in disability or death.
The state law findings in this review are limited to legal provisions and court cases that are available on searchable databases. Due to the nature of this topic, many cases are settled out of court, and those records are sealed from the public and not available for review.
Preventable harm continues to occur from unsafe injection practices. These practices pose a significant risk of disease or even death for patients and could result in legal repercussions for healthcare providers and facility leadership.
This article reviews emerging law and potential legal implications for health care and public health related to unsafe medical practices related to needle, syringe, and vial use.
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