Continuing Professional Development: Legal issues in paramedic practice

July 2011

OverviewThis CPD module will focus on some of the key legal issues in relation to paramedic practice. Any text relating to medico-legal issues would of course not be complete without directing the reader to the vast range of excellent texts relating to medico-legal aspects in medicine and nursing, with a developing literature base in paramedic practice. This module will describe some of the core legal principles, specifically those of accountability and liability, that impact on paramedic practice. In addition, the module will also consider the issue of duty of care in prehospital practice and outline some key legal cases specifically in relation to the ambulance service. Law and ethics are often intertwined and rightly so. The legal cases presented in this module allow us to reflect on prehospital practice and critically review some of the professional and regulatory guidance that currently underpins paramedic practice. The second related module, on ethical issues, will further explore some of the issues in relation to paramedic practice.Learning OutcomesAfter completing this module you will be able:• To identify some legal terminology relevant to paramedic practice• To provide an overview of the key legal principles that underpin current clinical practice in the UK• To explore the legal concepts on relation to prehospital care and paramedic practice• To review some medico-legal cases and explore how they relate to clinical and professional practice

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