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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Sherri-Lynne Almeida, MSN, RN, DrPH (City of Houston)
Description: This book explains in plain, everyday language current legal issues that affect the practice of prehospital care.
Purpose: The purpose is to ease confusion and frustration about legal issues by simplifying the relationship between EMS and the law. It is intended to make the reader more comfortable with many of the legal principles involved in the operation of an EMS service.
Audience: EMS providers involved in day-to-day patient care and EMS administrators will find that acquiring a good working knowledge of the basic principles and concepts contained in this book will assist them in dealing with the many facets of EMS and the law. Patient care providers will find discussions on malpractice, consent and refusal, dealing with the emotionally disturbed patient, and advance directives. Content areas that might be useful to administrators are: defending a malpractice suit; employment issues; developing a health and safety program; patient confidentiality; and risk management.
Features: Throughout the book, practice tips are used to highlight important points of a particular issue and detailed scenarios assist in clarifying each legal concept. Of particular interest is the chapter on advance directives; there is no area of law that is newer to EMS than this issue. In this chapter, a definition of an advance directive is provided, and a discussion of the various types of directives follows. Suggestions are offered as to how to resolve advance directive problems when they arise. I found this chapter to be very functional.
Assessment: The authors have done a remarkable job in presenting such sensitive and difficult material. I would recommend this book to those EMS providers who are seeking a simplified explanation to a series of complicated issues.