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Civil Law and Its Impact on Nursing Practice

Civil law presents one of the topics that are connected with all spheres of human activity because it helps to regulate the relationships between individuals. Among other things, the requirements of civil law have an impact on nursing practice. There are many types of inappropriate actions that may be evaluated as harassment. In fact, this problem can be called many-sided because both parties of the conflict may try to turn the tables and profit at the expense of another person. Also, the problem possessing significance for the field is connected with the notion of carelessness.

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In their article devoted to the connection of legal environment with the sphere of healthcare, Mitchell, Koen, and Crow discuss the problem of harassment in healthcare organizations (2008, p. 13). According to the information that they discuss, it is often believed that harassment is primarily connected with sex. Nevertheless, such way to understand this term does not correspond to real problems that exist in modern society. In fact, speaking about harassment, it is necessary to remember that such offence can be of different types. For instance, certain people are more likely to offend the others paying special attention to their personal characteristics, race, appearance, religious beliefs, and other things. Therefore, harassment can be connected to every attribute related to the identity and self-image of the person. It is also important to say that the authors try to be objective and show the present situation with harassment in healthcare organizations in its true colors. Therefore, the readers understand that this problem is much more complicated than it seems to be. As for the way that civil law influences nursing practice, it needs to be said that the situation is not the same for employers and employees related to this field of activity.

As for the former, they are required to do everything in order to protect the rights of their employees and create a safe working environment free from certain threats including harassment. At the same time, it sometimes happens that the employees lie that they have been harassed by their chiefs. They do it in order to take a revenge for something that may be related both to career and personal relationships. For instance, in some cases the employees tend to plant misinformation on their chiefs’ inappropriate actions or statements when they are in a difficult situation and their chiefs are going to fire them. Due to such cases that happen in many spheres including healthcare, employers always have to be on the alert as their reputation may decrease because of these conflicts. In general, it can be said that civil law has certain impact on many activities performed by nurses. For example, if we discuss application of civil law to the duties of nurses themselves, it is necessary to pay an increased attention to so-called careless acts (Griffith & Tengnah, 2014, p. 48). There is a range of moral values that should be respected by the professional, and these values are especially important in spheres that involve work with people. As for nurses, their willingness to take any actions in order to help the patient is believed to be one of the primary factors contributing to the successful outcomes of the treatment. Therefore, acts of omission that may take place during nurses’ practice are regarded as quite serious crimes.

In the end, civil law has an impact on nursing practice due to special degree of responsibility related to the work with the patients and the necessity of fair relationships between employers and employees.


Griffith, R., & Tengnah, C. (2014). Law and professional issues in nursing. London, UK: Sage Publications.

Mitchell, M. S., Koen, C. M., & Crow, S. M. (2008). Harassment: It’s not (all) about sex! Part I: The evolving legal environment. The Health Care Manager, 27(1), 13-22.

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