Legal aspects in obstetrical ultrasound
Obstetric ultrasound is an essential component of antenatal care and it is widely perceived to be associated with a considerable medico legal activities. Litigation is associated with pain and distress to clinicians as well as to the patients and their families. Thus, fear of litigation is attracting fewer medical graduates into this specialty, leading to recruitment crisis in obstetrics. Introduction of Human Rights Acts.
Objectives of the assignment
Highlight the legal considerations that influence the practice of obstetrical ultrasound.
- Addressing the importance of effective patient communication and the value of informed consent.
- Understanding the areas of potential legal claims, avoiding the factors that may contribute to legislation and maintaining a very high standard of clinical care may help avoid obstetric litigation.
- Health care professions should be aware of medical low and professional regulations.
Main body text for the assignment (discuss the following):
Confidentiality and privacy
- Human Rights Acts article 8
- Valid consent before ultrasound examination.
- Explain the purpose, type, and limitations of ultrasound.
- In Interventional ultrasound the risks, benefits and complications of the procedure.
- Negligence and Malpractice
- Failure to inform about parental testing.
- Failure to refer the patient.
- Failure to act upon positive results.
- Failure to detect fetal anomalies.
- Failure to communicate with patient.
- Failure to seek second opinion.
- Abortion Act (1967).
- Ensure non-judgmental and non-discriminatory care.
- Discuss options available with risks.
- Ensure valid consent for Termination of pregnancy.
- Ensure safe and suitability of ultrasound equipment and work with ALARA principles.
- Awareness of local infection control procedures and disinfection of vaginal scanning transducers.
- Interventional and non-interventional research
- Ensure approval has been obtained from independent research ethics committee and that patients have given consent.
- Ensure patient care and safety.
- Professional protocol and professional misconduct
- Standard professional regulations should be in place.