Law and Professional Conduct in Nursing by Ann P. Young
Nurses are becoming increasingly concerned at the effect of the law on their work, whether it is assisting the police by writing statements, being sued for negligence in the civil courts or acting as witnesses in the coroners' courts. However, registered nurses are also very aware of the influence that the United Kingdom Central Council Code of Professional Conduct has on their actions, both professionally and ethically. What was not immediately obvious when the Code was first published was that it also has legal implications and the ethical concepts of duty, responsibility, value of the individual and fair treatment are also legal concepts. The aim of this book is to ensure that nurses understand the legal implications of the Code of Professional Conduct, both to enhance the practical decisions they make in case of later legal repercussions and to ascertain that their ethical/professional responses to the Code are within the law. The legal aspects of each clause of the Code are examined and the legal and professional arguments are compared and contrasted. Liberal use is made of practical examples covering a wide range of nursing situations, both in the hospital and the community, general and psychiatric nursing. Care of children and the elderly are considered, as well as the special needs of students, the newly qualified, ward sisters and nurse managers. Relevant legal cases are also quoted where necessary, but some details have been altered to respect confidentiality.