Malpractice Essay


Malpractice Essay

Identify and explain any legal implications that exist for failure to adhere to a standard of care

Standards of care in nursing refer to the general guiding frameworks on how a nurse /he should do or not do during delivery of care in their professional capacity. Deviating from nursing standards can results into serious legal implications.  For instance, Ivan a newborn baby developed brain injury due to complications during delivery that led to spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy.  The mother labor was induced and they were discharged without monitoring their progress.

 In this case, medical negligence claim can be made against obstetrician for failing to adhere with the recommended nursing care standards of monitoring them for at least 48 hours before discharge. The legal implications of violating the standard of care, the nurse will be suspended as his case is investigated. If the investigations indicate that he is guilty, then his practice license can be revoked or judgment awards hefty fines and penalties to be given to the patient directly affected (American Nurses Association, 2013).

Identify and explain the key elements of malpractice

 The four key elements of malpractice include duty, breach of duty, damages and causation. Duty refers to what patient is owed. This includes safe environments and quality care. Breach of duty refers to scenarios where duties owed to the patient is neglected (Legal Information Institute, n.d.).  In this context, the obstetrician did not monitor the child’s health status as required by the facility nursing standards. 

Damages are the consequences due to breach of duties. In this context, patient brain injuries due to medical negligence are the damages that should be claimed. Causation generally refers to what led to the series of events. This is the most difficult element to prove in malpractice lawsuit (Buppert, 2014). In this case, causation was lack of patient monitoring soon after delivery.

Compare the differences in malpractice policy options

Health policy is a trade-off among three dimensions of cost, quality and access. There are 3 general categories of medical malpractice including claims – made coverage, claims paid coverage and occurrence coverage. Claims made coverage are the most common because their premiums are based on healthcare provider past and current experiences. Therefore, the premiums paid are lower. Claims paid policy and occurrence coverage premiums are higher and are not flexible enough to allow a healthcare provider increase liability limits like claims made coverage policy (Reising, 2012).


American Nurses Association. (2013). nursing: Scope and standards of practice (2nd ed.). Silver Spring, MD: Author.

Buppert,C.(2014). Nurses practitioner business practice and legal guide. Jones and Barlett publishers. Burlington

Legal Information Institute. (n.d.). Requirements for and assuring quality of care in skilled nursing facilities, 42 U.S.C. § 1395i–3. Cornell University Law School. Retrieved from

Reising, D. L. (2012). Make your nursing care malpractice-proof. American Nurse Today, 7(1), 24–28.

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