Legal Issues Affecting Healthcare

Healthcare is an important aspect of humanity. Therefore, is should be guided or governed by a standard code of conduct that puts into account the legal and ethical requirements or expectations of the practitioners. Consequently, every encounter with a patient involves a lot of legal issues. Therefore, it may be complicated to offer the efficient and quality services if you do not understand the required legal and ethics codes when dealing with patients. Knowing, understanding and following the required and set rules does not only ensure quality services but is also critical in ensuring that you avoid unnecessary and additional costs that arise from lawsuits from patients. Apart from being costly, the lawsuits are time-consuming and may adversely affect the practitioners business or career. Following the legal and ethics code may also keep you away from disciplinary actions that may be very embarrassing.


The main issue that is paramount for the practitioner to the patient is the protection of the patient’s information and records. Any information about the patient should is confidential. It should not be disclosed or discussed with any person that are not concerned and given the right to that information. Remember that releasing the patients information may lead to damaging their name. It is, therefore, a show of respect to protecting the patient’s information from getting to the wrong people who do not have the right privilege of the law to access such information. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act dictate clearly what information should be released to whom. Some information need not be provided to the insurance companies. However, some confidentiality may be broken where there is the need to prevent a third party who is at risk.


This is some legal issue that is mostly ignored by many and especially when health problems with a low-risk probability are involved. However, this will become a fundamental requirement in the case of complex procedures and treatment. For any treatment to be legal, the patient must be provided with the right information. The risks and any side effects must be explained clearly to the patient. After that, they are supposed to give informed consent. When dealing with minors, parents are required to give the consent on their behalf. In some states like California, a child above the age of twelve has the right to make their health decisions. The doctors cannot discuss health information of children beyond twelve years of age without their consent.

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