# Exam 3 - Law & Liability

What is statutory law?
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Laws based on past judicial judgments made in similar cases. Usually extends beyond scope of statutory law. Example: it isn't part of the statutory law that says when a doctor is negligent, that the injured should get money, but precedent has been set repeatedly that they do. Common law or case law develops over a long period of time. Generally, common law deals with matters outside the scope of laws enacted by the legislature.
Law concerned with violation of criminal statutes or laws. Concerned with providing protection for all members of society. When someone is accused of violating a criminal law, the government at the county, city, state or federal level imposes the punishment appropriate. Involves a wide range of malfeasance, from minor traffic violations to murder. Criminal law is either a felony or a misdemeanor.
The most common way is to fail to renew your nursing license; this is practicing without a license and is a crime in all states. Another way is to become involved with the illegal diversion of drugs, particularly narcotics, from the hospital. This is more serious and can lead to imprisonment. Intentional or unintentional deaths of pts and assisted suicide cases have also led to criminal action against nurses.