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Negligence in Nursing

  • Date Submitted: 08/03/2010 09:09 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 49.5 
  • Words: 2741
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The facts in this provides for a claim in negligence, a civil action, by the infant’s parents against Registered Nurse Smith, the paediatrician and the hospital. The scenario under discussion concerns, in particular, the law of negligence. In order to establish an action in negligence, it is necessary to meet the following essential conditions on the balance of probabilities. First it is essential to establish that the child’s parents are owed a legally recognised duty of care by RN Smith. Second it is necessary to establish a breach of duty by RN Smith. Third it must be shown that damage recognised by the law has been suffered by the child’s parents. Fourth it must be demonstrated that the damage suffered or sustained by the child’s parents as a direct, causal consequence of the identified breach by RN Smith and the paediatrician, and finally it must be established that the damage stipulated was reasonably foreseeable in all the circumstances of the case, who may be damaged by what they do or do not do.
Duty and Standard of care
The four year old infant had been admitted to the hospital for assessment and surgical intervention. The health professional will owe a duty of care to all those they can reasonably foresee are likely to be injured by what they do or what they do not do. At law, such a person is considered to be their “neighbour”: Donoghue v Stevenson (1932) AC 562, and to such a person they have a legally recognised relationship which gives rise to the ability to sue. The nature and extent of the health professional’s duty of care to a patient or client is a “duty to exercise reasonable care and skill in the provision of professional advice and treatment. That duty is a single comprehensive duty covering all the ways in which a doctor is called upon to exercise his skill and judgement: it extends to the examination, diagnosis and treatment of the patient and the provision of information in the appropriate case”: Rogers v Whitaker (1992) 175...


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