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Elements of Negligence and Their Effects Essay

Concepts, Their Definition and Interpretation

When dealing with healthcare issues, it is crucial to make sure that every single concept is absolutely clear and understandable; otherwise, a case of misinterpreting a specific concept may entail drastic effects and affect a patient’s health in the most negative way. Thus, definition of several basic healthcare concepts is required.

Res judicata

According to the existing definition, the term “res judicata” is used to denote a court case that has been considered and the verdict for which has been passed, which means that no further appellations are possible (Pozgar, 2011).

Res ipsa loquitur

Translated as “the case that speaks for itself,” the given term denotes the case in healthcare the key causes of which can be learned based on the assessment of the results. Therefore, even when there is no direct evidence for the verdict to be passed, the judgment is passed anyway based on what the outcomes say.

Stare decisis

For the legislation systems based on the rule of precedent, state decisis is the guiding principle that obliges the court to apply the rule deduced from the previous case of a similar nature in order to solve a particular case. The similarity between the cases is defined based on the similarity between the facts.

Independent contractor

An independent contractor can be defined as a person or a company that is entitled to provide specific services to its legal partner, i.e., another person or company, based on the agreement that was signed previously.

Once knowing what each of the issues above includes and what theories it is based on, one can provide adequate healthcare services.

Elements of Negligence and Their Effects

Negligence in healthcare is often considered the root of all evil – or, to be more exact, the factor that causes most ethical and legal issues within the field of healthcare. Truly, the fact that negligence leads to a number of complexities, not to mention that it clashes with Hippocratic Oath, cannot be doubted.

However, despite its complexity and the fact that it is partially rooted in human nature, negligence can be dealt with once its core elements are analyzed. According to Pozgar (2011), the very act of negligence presupposes that the following elements should be introduced:

  • Duty (standard) of care;
    (Rules and regulations setting the healthcare standard)
  • Breach of duty;
    (The process of breaking or state of having broken the corresponding healthcare principles)
  • Injury;
    (The results of breaking the rules, i.e., patient’s health deterioration)
  • Causation.
    (Establishing links between causes and effects and learning the lesson).

It is quite peculiar that, technically, not all of the elements listed above are the actual parts of the process of negligence; instead, the given phenomena can be classified as the prerequisites for being negligent (i.e., the introduction of the rules); negligence itself (breach of duty), effects of negligence (injury) and the analysis of the situation (causation). Therefore, technically, negligence occurs only on the second stage.

However, in a broader sense, every single stage mentioned above can be regarded as a process of experiencing negligence, starting from the creation of the premises up to driving lessons from the results of negligence. Weirdly enough, standards of care serve as the prerequisites for negligence to occur; without any means to measure the efficiency of healthcare services, the phenomenon of negligence could not be possibly defined.

Reference List

Pozgar, G. (2011). Legal aspects of health care administration. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

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W., Averie. 2019. "Elements of Negligence and Their Effects." IvyPanda (blog), May 21, 2019.


W., A. (2019) 'Elements of Negligence and Their Effects'. IvyPanda, 21 May.

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