competent (for consent purposes): having the mental capacity to understand
information, deliberate according to values, weigh the consequences of one's own
decisions, and communicate one's wishes; a legal determination (para 1-23b).
confidentiality: the ethical responsibility of health care providers to maintain the
secrets of their patients, communicated to them or learned through observation,
examination, or conversation, and not to communicate same except to those with an
official need to know (para 3-8).
consent: the free (uncoerced) authorization of the patient to make his or her own
decisions as to whether or not, and how to receive competent medical care (para
damages: payment (compensation) for injury in a tort suit (para 4-2b).
decisions and rules: mandates and decisions from Federal and state
administrative agencies, e.g., the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Food
and Drug Administration (FDA), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) (para 3-4a).
defamation: injury to another person's reputation, either spoken (slander) or in
writing (libel) (para 4-3c).
defendant: See "actor."
Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order: a written order to suspend an otherwise
automatic initiation of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) (para 2-8a).
emancipated minor: a minor who has assumed the life-style and responsibilities of
adult status and is not supported by either parent (para 1-26c).
ethical integrity of the health care profession: the medical profession's right to
act affirmatively to save lives without fear of civil liability (para 2-17).
ethics: a disciplined study of morality (what is right and wrong). It attempts to sort
out the confusion created by the conflicting sources of morality (para 1-4).
express consent: consent given by direct communication, either orally or in writing
extension doctrine: the doctrine that allows the physician the prerogative to extend
care beyond the scope of express consent in an emergency (para 1-6d).
false imprisonment: unlawful restraint or detention of a person (para 4-3d).