Medical Law and Ethics - Ch 1, 2, and 3


an ethical theory based on the principle of the greatest good for the greatest number.


the ability to consider and honor another person's belief's and opinions, even if contrary to one's own.


the unwavering adherence to one's principle; dedication to maintaining high standards.


the quality of truthfulness, no matter the situation.


treating everyone the same. Unbiased impartiality and a sense of justice


the ability to understand the feelings of another person without actually experiencing the pain or distress that person is going through.


pity for someone else


ability to have a gentle, caring attitude toward patients and fellow employees.


a sense of faithfulness or commitment to a person or persons


confidentiality. The ability to safeguard another person's confidences or information.

sexual harassment

unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors

due process

the entitlement of all employees to have certain procedures followed when they believe their rights are in jeopardy

comparable worth

pay equity. A theory that extends equal requirements to all people who are doing equal work

case law / common law

Based on decisions made by judges.

checks and balances

designed by the framers of the Constitution, so that no one branch of government would have more power than another and so that each branch of govt is scrutinized by other branches of govt

civil law

relationships between individuals or between individuals and the government which are not criminal


in contract law, consideration is something of value given as part of the agreement

constitutional law

the invincible rights, privileges or immunities secured and protected for each citizen by the Constitution of the US or by the constitution of each state.

contract law

that division of law that includes enforceable promises and agreements between 2 or more persons to do or not to do a particular thing.


an unintentional action that occurs when a person either performs or fails to perform an action that a "reasonable" person would or would not have committed in a similar situation


laws enacted by state and federal legislatures


a civil injury, or wrongful act, committed against another person or property that results in harm and is compensated in money damages

tort law

a body of rights, obligations and remedies that is applied in civil proceedings to provide relief for people who have suffered harm from the wrongful acts of others.


withdrawing medical care from a patient without providing sufficient notice to the patient.

administrative law

a branch of law that covers regulations set by government agencies.


neglect of an understanding between two parties; failing to perform a legal duty

breach of contract

the failure, without legal excuse, to perform any promise or to carry out any of the terms of an agreement; failure to perform a contractual duty


capable of making a decision without confusion due to drugs, alcohol, or other reasons

criminal case

one in which court action is brought by the government against a person or groups of people accused of committing a crime, resulting in a fine or imprisonment if found guilty

criminal laws

set up to protect the public from the harmful acts of others


person or group of people sued civilly or prosecuted criminally in a court of law


oral testimony that is made before a public officer of the court that is to be used in a lawsuit


the legal process by which facts are discovered before a trial

expert witness

a medical practitioner or other expert who, through education, training, or experience, has special knowledge about a subject and gives testimony about that subject in court, usually for a fee.

expressed contract

an agreement that is entered into orally or in writing.


a serious crime that carries a punishment of death or imprisonment for more than one year. Examples are murder, rape, robbery, and practicing medicine without a license

implied contract

an agreement that is made through inference by signs, inaction, or silence


a dispute that has resulted in one party suing another


less serious offenses than felonies; punishable by fines or imprisonment of up to one year. These include traffic violations and disturbing the peace.


a person or group of people suing another person or group of people; the person who instigates the law suit


a person who brings a criminal lawsuit on behalf of the government


court order for a person, or documents, to appear in court.


give up a right


an approval or sanction


the cooperation of one state in granting a license to practice medicine to a physician already licensed in another state. Can also be applied to other licensed professionals


taken away; as in a license

discovery rule

legal theory that provides that the statue of limitations begins to run at the time the injury is discovered or when the patient should have known of the injury

respondent superior

Latin phrase meaning "Let the master answer"; means the employer is responsible for the actions of the employee

standard of care

the ordinary skill and care that medical practitioners use and that is commonly used by other medical practitioners in the same locality when caring for patients; what another medical professional would consider appropriate care in similar circumstances.

statue of limitations

the period of time that a patient has to file a lawsuit