N108: Transition to the Registered Professional Nurse Role Study Guide Avoiding Paternalism Healthcare professionals strive to avoid unilateral decisions made by a healthcare worker. Unilateral decisions often imply that the decision maker knows what is best for the patient, which is referred to as paternalism. It is the deliberate treatment of people in a fatherly manner, especially by caring for them, but not allowing them to have rights or responsibilities. Allocation and Access to Healthcare Resources This includes social and economic issues, such as changes in family structure, teenage pregnancy, physical and psychological problems, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, religious beliefs, cultural beliefs, an increase in immigration, an increasing elderly population, and the challenges faced by vulnerable populations, such as lack of financial resources, poor living conditions, poor access to healthcare, and chronic illnesses. Economic issues include rationing of health care, the development of Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO), community based care, managed care, capitation and pay-for- performance. 2.3 Legal Aspects that Impact Nursing Practice Civil law is concerned with the relationship between individuals. The penalty for breaking civil law is loss of property or an injunction to stop the activity. Criminal law is concerned with enforcing peace in the relationship between the citizen and the government or society. The penalty for breaking criminal lawmay be loss of liberty or even life. Other types of laws include statutory law and common (case) law. Types of Laws • Statutes: Statutes are rules or formal regulations established by governmental legislative authority. Violation of a statute is legally punishable. • Regulations: Regulations are executed by the executive or administrative branch of state or nation. • Common or judicial law: This is executed by the judicial branch of the state or nation; it is fluid and changes over time. It is based on occurrences of events. Common law is less clear and exact than statutory law. • Criminal law: This addresses the general welfare of the public. Violation of criminal law is a crime and is prosecuted by the government; penalty may be loss of liberty or even life. • Civil law: Civil law regulates conduct between private individuals or businesses and is enforced through the courts as damages or monetary compensation (penalty is loss of property or an injunction to stop activity).