Legal Issues in Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing

Legal Issues in Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing

  • Confidentiality and right to privacy
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (H I P A A)
      • Individuals have the rights to access their medical records, to have corrections made to their medical records, and to decide with whom their medical information may be shared
      • If information is released in an emergency, the following information must be recorded in the client’s record: date of disclosure, person to whom information was disclosed, reason for disclosure, reason written consent could not be obtained, and the specific information disclosed.
  • Doctrine of privileged communication
  • Exceptions: A duty to warn; suspected child or elder abuse
      • Assessment of a threat of violence by a client toward another individual
      • Identification of the intended victim
      • Ability to intervene in a feasible, meaningful way to protect the intended victim
  • Informed consent
      • This is the permission granted to a physician to perform a therapeutic procedure
      • Individuals have the right to decide whether to accept or reject treatment.
      • Healthcare provider can be charged with assault and battery for providing life-sustaining treatment to a client when the client has not agreed to it.
  • Restraints and seclusion
      • Restraint refers not only to leather restraints but also to any manual method or medication used to restrict a person’s freedom of movement.
      • Seclusion is a type of physical restraint in which the client is confined alone in a room from which he or she is unable to leave.
      • Injuries and deaths have been associated with restraint and seclusion, this treatment requires careful attention whenever it is used.
  • False imprisonment
      • deliberate and unauthorized confinement of a person within fixed limits by the use of verbal or physical means


More Posts

Aspirin overdose

Aspirin is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to relieve mild to moderate aches and pains, swelling, and fever. Aspirin overdose occurs when someone accidentally

Pulmonary edema

Pulmonary edema is an abnormal buildup of fluid in the lungs. This buildup of fluid leads to shortness of breath. Causes Pulmonary edema is often