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Write an essay that summarizes the understanding of the connection between the law and medicine.

This week\’s learning resources provided an overview of the U.S. legal system and distinguishes between Criminal, Civil, and Administrative Law. Write an essay that summarizes your understanding of the connection between the law and medicine.

In the introduction of your essay, develop a list of questions you have about the basic connections between law and medicine. You may use bullet points to list your questions. We will discuss these questions and amplify your understanding with examples throughout the term.

In the body of your essay, summarize the three areas of the law and demonstrate that you understand how to characterize them distinctly. For example, if a nurse administers an inappropriate medication, would she/he be subject to Civil, Criminal or Administrative Law? And would the nurse only be subject to one legal system? Is there a difference if the nurse administers a bolus of air IV to a patient who has been long suffering and the nurse seeks to end the patient\’s pain? Keep in mind that the courts are generally not a source of solution for ethical dilemmas and medical decisions.

We will discuss this in greater detail as the term proceeds, but initially it is important to see, for example, that a patient who decides not to take a prescribed treatment cannot be forced to do so by a court. Additionally, most courts are both reluctant and functionally unable to make timely medical decisions. Thus, it is rare for medical personnel to be able to resolve situations through legal process. Instead, medical personnel ordinarily encounter the legal systems when they break rules, act in a criminal manner or otherwise act in some manner that is thought to be negligent. We will explore these ideas several times in this course.

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