Patient Care and the Health-Impaired Practitioner

International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Vol. 78, pp. 171-177, 2002

7 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2006

See all articles by Rebecca J. Cook

Rebecca J. Cook

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Bernard Dickens

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Abstract

The risk of HIV-infected or otherwise impaired practitioners infecting or injuring their patients is very low, but is of proper concern to patients, practitioners and healthcare facilities. Practitioners' general legal and ethical duties to protect patients includes protection against their own liability to present risk of harm. Healthcare facilities have similar duties of care to protect patients, for instance by proper selection and management of personnel, but may also bear indirect or vicarious ('no fault') legal liability for injuries due to the negligence of the personnel they engage. Impaired practitioners should disclose their status to licensing and health facility authorities. They are entitled to non-discriminatory employment opportunities, but may be licensed and approved to practice under conditions that appropriately protect patients. When impaired practitioners practice within such approved conditions, modern courts hold that they have no legal duty to volunteer disclosure of their status to their patients.

Keywords: Impaired healthcare practitioners, HIV-positive physicians, HIV-positive healthcare staff, Practitioner-to-patient infection, Vicarious legal liability of health facilities, Legal liability of health facilities, Hospital legal liability, Health facility legal liability

JEL Classification: I18, K19

Suggested Citation

Cook, Rebecca J. and Dickens, Bernard, Patient Care and the Health-Impaired Practitioner. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Vol. 78, pp. 171-177, 2002. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=945713

Rebecca J. Cook

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 Queen's Park Cr.
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada
416-978-4446 (Phone)
416-978-7899 (Fax)

Bernard Dickens (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada
416-978-4849 (Phone)
416-978-7899 (Fax)

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
34
Abstract Views
790
PlumX Metrics