Health care law involves state, federal and local regulations, rules and the law governing the providers, dealer, and payers in the health care system. It focuses on health delivery, financing, healthcare-related ethics, safety regulation, and care for elderly. The health care law is applicable to all heath care institutions, including hospitals, manufacturers of clinical equipment, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and practitioners involve in the treatment of patients (Showalter, 2015). Based on my professional judgment, the most important subjects addressed in the course include consent for treatment and withholding consent, health information management, and contracts and intentional torts.
The subject relating to consent for treatment and concealment consent is important in health care system because it focuses on the right of the patients to make a decision on whether to seek treatment or to decline the treatment offered to them. The subject provides guidelines informing the health care provider that they cannot force the patient to undergo specific treatment procedures. It enables the health care professionals to understand the types of consents relating to medical treatment. The subjects also provide legal guidelines on how to judge the information, which should be provided to the patients (Showalter, 2015). The subject also helps in offering information relating to the importance and powers of the attorney in healthcare.
The subject relating to health information management is important because it helps the clinical professionals understand the importance of complete and accurate medical record in offering recurred care to the patient. It also helps the health care professionals understand that health information is confidential (Showalter, 2015). It also creates an understanding of state and federal privacy laws to the health care personnel.
The subject relating to contracts and intentional torts is important to health care professionals because it helps them understand elements of an enforceable and valid contract. The subject also offers information on the importance of contract law in relation to hospital–patient and physician–patient relationships (Showalter, 2015).
Having examined the most important subjects in health care law, it is important to identify question which can arise from those subjects. The questions help in looking at specific areas in a particular subject. The following are the questions that can arise from the three subjects.
- How can intentional torts occur in the healthcare field?
The question is important because it helps the healthcare personnel to identify how intentional torts can occur in the healthcare field. It helps in compare how intentional torts occur in healthcare in relation to another field, for example, based on business/ contract engagement. The question triggers the healthcare professionals to think about different ways that can lead to intentional torts in the healthcare system (Showalter, 2015). The answer realized in this question is helpful to healthcare providers to understand ways of avoiding intentional torts in a healthcare setting.
- What are the circumstances that can influence confidential health information to be disclosed without the explicit consent of the patient?
This question is important to help the healthcare providers that there are situations when the confidential health information to be disclosed without the consent of the patients. Before answering this question, the healthcare practitioners need to understand that confidential health information should not be disclosed without the permission of the patient (Showalter, 2015). However, for one to effectively answer the question, the individuals must look at the exceptions relating to disclosure of confidential health information in health care field.
- What is the role of the hospital in obtaining informed consent?
The question is important on the subject relating to consent for treatment and withholding consent because it helps the healthcare professional understand that different players in the healthcare field have a role to play in obtaining the informed consent (Showalter, 2015). To answer this question, the individuals need to explore the role and responsibilities of the hospital in obtaining informed consent.
This part of the paper relates to situations in which confidential health information can be unveiled without the explicit consent of the patient. Although the health care law maintains that the confidential information cannot be unveiled without the permission of the patient, there are situations when it can be disclosed.
One of the situations, when the disclosure is justifiable, relate to the compulsion to disclosure. There are situations when the release of medical information, relating to a particular patient, is required by the law (Showalter, 2015). In this case, the patient’s consent is not required. However, the confidential information cannot be unveiled to the third party.
Another situation when confidential information can be revealed without the consensus of the patient relates to the requirement by statute. The legislation provides compulsory revelation of information, particularly under Public Health Act 1984, Criminal Appeal Act 1995, and the Road Traffic Act 1988 (Showalter, 2015).
The other situation relate to coroners’ investigation where the coroner has the duty to investigate situations of death (Showalter, 2015). This mostly happens when death happens in custody or violent manner. This requires that the family members or the hospital release the information relating to the deceased so as to aid in the investigation. Additionally, the disclosure of confidential information can happen without the consent of the patient through litigation. Criminal and civil courts have the authority to instruct the disclosure of confidential information in specific situations.
Showalter, J. S. (2015). The law of healthcare administration. Edition: Seventh edition. Chicago, Illinois: Health Administration Press.