Legal Issues in Geriatric Surgery
Chapter in: Principles and Practice of Geriatric Surgery, Edited by Ronnie A. Rosenthal, Michael E. Zenilman, and Mark R. Katlic, Published by Springer International Publishing, Forthcoming
58 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2017
Date Written: April 18, 2017
The practice of surgery involving older patients is extensively regulated in the United States in a variety of ways. Besides direct government command and control (“Thou shalt” and “Thou shalt not”) regulation and indirect regulation through Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rules, a number of private entities contribute to the oversight of surgery practice through their standard-setting and disciplinary activities. A further source of regulation is the American judicial system, under which the courts may be used by individual patients who bring private civil malpractice lawsuits to seek financial compensation from particular surgeons and other health care professionals and institutions for harms that the defendants have wrongfully caused. Particularly egregious behavior, such as patient abuse, may even subject a health care professional to the possibility of criminal law prosecution. This chapter examines three specific areas of legal regulation affecting the practice of surgery for older patients. These foci are medical malpractice litigation, informed decision making requirements and exceptions, and confidentiality protections. Additionally, general risk management considerations for the surgeon treating geriatric patients are outlined.
Keywords: Surgery Jurisprudence; Surgery Law; Surgery Legal; Surgical Malpractice; Informed Consent for Surgery; Decision Making Capacity; Advance Medical Planning; Surgery Risk Management; Geriatrics Shared Decision Making
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