a rule or regulation issued by the president that has the effect and formal status of legislation
checks and balances
A system established by the US Constitution that keeps any one branch of government from assuming too power over the other branches
law that derives from federal and state constitutions
law established through common law and legal precedent
the body of unwritten law developed in England, primarily from judicial decisions based on custom and tradition
decisions made by judges in various courts that become rule of law and apply to future cases, even though they were not enacted by legislation
law passed by the U.S. Congress or state legislatures
enabling statutes enacted to define powers and procedures when an agency is created
the statutory or written law that defines and regulates legal rights and obligations
law that defines the rules used to enforce substantive law
Law that involves crimes against the state
An offense punishable by death or by imprisonment in a state or federal prison for more than one year
a crime punishable by fine or by imprisonment in a facility other than a prison for less than one year
law that involves wrongful acts against persons
a civil wrong committed against a person or property, excluding breach of contract.
the person guilty of committing a tort
an unintentional tort alleged when one may have performed or failed to perform an act that a reasonable person would or would not have done in similar circumstances.
power of a court to hear and decide a case before it.
the person bringing charges in a lawsuit
the government as plaintiff in a criminal case
the person or party against whom criminal or civil charges are brought in a lawsuit
a voluntary agreement between two parties in which specific promises are made for a consideration
without legal force or effect
breach of contract
Failure of either party to comply with the terms of a legally valid contract
unable to fully understand all the terms and conditions of a transaction, and therefore unable to enter into a legal contract
able to be set aside or to be revalidated at a later date
anyone under the age of : 18 years in most states, 21 years in some jurisdictions.
a written or oral agreement in which all terms are explicitly stated
An unwritten and unspoken agreement whose terms result from the actions of the parties involved
statute of fraud
state legislation governing written contracts
third-party payer contract
a written agreement signed by a party other than the patient who promises to pay the patient's bill
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
A federal statute prohibiting certain unfair and illegal practices by debt collectors and creditors. It prohibits certain methods of debt collection, including harassment, misrepresentation, threats, disseminating false information about the debtor, and engaging in unfair or illegal practices in attempting to collect a debt.
law of agency
The law that governs the relationship between a principal and his or her agent
one who acts for or represents another, in performing workplace duties, the employee acts as the agent or authorized representative of the employer.
Literally, "let the master answer." A doctrine under which an employer is legally liable for the acts of his or her employees, if such acts were performed within the scope of the employees' duties
legally responsible or obligated
standard of care
the level of performance expected of a health care practitioner in carrying out his or her professional duties
duty of care
the legal obligation of health care workers to patients and, sometimes, nonpatients.
reasonable person standard
That standard of behavior that judges a person's actions in a situation according to what a reasonable person would or would not do under similar circumstances.
the act of holding information in confidence, not to be released to unauthorized individuals
information held confidential within a protected relationship.
The performance of a totally wrongful and unlawful act
The performance of a lawful act in an illegal or improper manner
The failure to act when one should
res ipsa loquitur
"the thing speaks for itself" also known as the doctrine of common knowledge, under this doctrine no expert witnesses need to be called
Monetary awards sought by plaintiffs in lawsuits
wrongful death statutes
state statutes that allow a person's beneficiaries to collect for loss to the estate of the deceased for future earnings when a death is judged to have been due to negligence
a written notification issued by the clerk of the court and delivered with a copy of the complaint to the defendant in a lawsuit, directing him or her to respond to the charges brought in a court of law.
a document requiring the recipient to appear as a witness in a court ti give a deposition
sworn testimony given and recorded outside the court room during the pretrial phase of a case.
A written set of questions requiring written answers from a plaintiff or defendant under oath
supoena duces tecum
legal document requiring the recipient to bring certain written records to court to be used as evidence in a lawsuit
statements sworn to under oath by witnesses testifying in court and giving depositions
alternative dispute resolution (ADR)
settlement of civil disputes between parties using neutral mediators or arbitrators without going to court
a defense that claims innocence of the charges or that one or more of the four Ds of negligence are lacking.
defenses used by defendants in medical professional liability suits that allow the accused to present factual evidence that the patient's condition was caused by some factor other than the defendant's negligence
An affirmative defense that alleges that the plaintiff, through a lack of care, caused or contributed to his or her own injury
an affirmative defense claimed by the defendant, alleging that the plaintiff contributed to the injury by a certain degree
assumption of risk
a legal defense that holds that the defendant is not guilty of a negligent act because the plaintiff knew of and accepted beforehand any risks involved
a type of affirmative defense in which the person who comes to the aid of a victim in an emergency is not held liable under certain circumstances
defenses used in a lawsuit that are based on legal technicalities
release of tortfeasor
a technical defense that prohibits a lawsuit against the person who caused an injury (the tortfeasor) if he or she was expressly released from further liability in the settlement of a suit
Literally, "The thing has been decided"; legal principle that a claim cannot be retried between the same parties if it has already been legally resolved.
statute of limitations
That period of time established by state law during which a lawsuit may be filed
the taking of steps to minimize danger, hazard, and liability
quality improvement (QI)
a program of measures taken by health care providers and practitioners to uphold the quality of patient care
contract coverage for potential damages incurred as a result of a negligent act
a type of liability insurance that covers the insured only for those claims made (not for any injury occurring) while the policy is in force
a type of liability insurance that covers the insured for any claims arising from an incident that occurred, or is alleged to have occurred, during the time the policy is in force, regardless of when the claim is made.
An insurance coverage option available for health care practitioners: when a claims-made policy is discontinued, it extends coverage for malpractice claims alleged to have occurred during those dates that claims-made coverage was in effect.
prior acts insurance coverage
a supplement to a claims-made insurance policy that can be purchased from a new carrier when health care practitioners change carriers
an insurance coverage option whereby insured subscribers contribute to a trust fund to be used in paying potential damage awards
doctrine of professional discretion
A principle under which a physician can exercise judgement as to whether to show patients who are being treated for mental or emotional conditions their records. Disclosure depends on whether, in the physician's judgement, such patients would be harmed by viewing the records
A physician's obligation to his or her patient, based on trust and confidence
Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Patient Records
A federal statute that protects patients with histories of substance abuse regarding the release of information about treatment.
permission from a patient, either expressed or implied, for something to be done by another
doctrine of informed consent
The legal basis for informed consent, usually outlined in a state's medical practice acts
a collection of data recorded when a patient seeks medical treatment
Good Samaritan act
State laws protecting physicians, laypersons and other healthcare practitioners from charges of negligence if they help a victim in an accident or other emergency.
health information technology (HIT)
The application of information processing, involving both computer hardware and software, that deals with the storage, retrieval, sharing, and use of health care information, data, and knowledge for communication and decision making.
electronic health record
contains the same information as any medical record, but in electronic form.