Law of Tort on Trespass/ Assault/ Battery in Relation Patietnt Autonomy

1986 Words Feb 18th, 2008 8 Pages
Outline the law of tort on trespass/assault/battery and discuss one in relation to patient autonomy.

Introduction:
It is said that nurses hold a certain power over patients, which makes the nurse-patient relationship unequal and takes independence away from the patient. In order to allow the patient more independence and freedom of choice, the law has come up with the concept of patient autonomy. This provides the patient with a chance to voice their own opinion and the power to consent to or to refuse medical treatment and it is a legal right of the patient. This is grounded in the constitution as stated in Article 40.3 (1)
‘The state guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate
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The intention or motive behind the touching may be grounds for defence but it does not change the fact that the battery occurred.

Law of tort on battery in relation to patient autonomy:
Patient autonomy is the right of patients to make their own decisions about their medical care without the nurse or doctor influencing their decision. Although the concept of patient autonomy allows the nurse/ doctor to educate the give the patient required information, it does not allow them to make decisions for the patient.
Medical treatment without consent is considered battery as it is not respecting patient autonomy. The doctor has a duty to explain the treatment or procedure to the patient and any risks or side effects that can occur. It is the nurse's role to act as an advocate to the patient and ensure hat they fully understand what the doctor has told them. As the nurse usually has the most contact with the patient they are usually in the best position to assess the capacity of the patient to understand the information given to them. For consent to be valid the patient must have the capacity to make decisions, they must be informed of the nature, benefits and risks of the treatment and the doctor or nurse must not put pressure on them to make a certain choice. Some patients may decide to refuse treatment and this is their right even though it may seem strange to do so. If they have the mental capacity to understand their decision and they are an

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