Analysis of the meaning of negligence of care in the context of ethical responsibility and legal liability

M.C. Pang, W.K. Leung, Pui Man Chung, Peter White, Y.M. Chung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic research


在执行专业权责时,医护人员的行为同时被职业道德和法律所规范和约束。当医护人员的医疗行为出现问题时,多方的责问便接踵而 来。通过对临终护理的案件分析,理清“照顾疏忽”在职业道德及法律上的含义,探讨因“照顾疏忽”而导致的责任追究问题。刻意的“照顾疏 忽”是职业道德及法律所不允许的;若因无意造成的“照顾疏忽”,护士须了解医疗事故的法例是在公平公正的原则下保护医患双方的合法权 益。因此,护士应坦诚面对问题,并懂得如何对其护理行为的法、理、情等依据做出论证。通过护士与患者及其家属的沟通,建立互相信赖的护 患关系。||The professional responsibilities of healthcare providers are multifaceted and are shaped by ethical responsibility and legal liability.In fulfilling their professional responsibilities,healthcare providers are often caught in competing role requirements in relation to the patients,the professional bodies and the public at large.While healthcare providers have to prepare themselves for bearing professional and legal consequences when they commit any acts or omissions which may constitute negligence of care,the phenomenon of defensive healthcare also emerges in day-to-day healthcare practice.This uneasy tension actually jeopardizes the fiduciary relationship between the professional and the public.This paper attempts to analyze the meaning of negligence of care from both ethical and legal perspectives.By means of an illustration of case examples on end-of-life care of patients with advanced dementia and cardio-pulmonary disease, the implications of ethical and legal responsibilities for negligent acts or omissions are discussed, and the ways to halt the vicious cycle of defensive healthcare are suggested. To this end, healthcare providers are required to acquire relevant legal and ethical knowledge, be competent in critical thinking and moral reasoning, and be prepared to provide clinical, ethical and legal justifications for their healthcare acts.More importantly,they need to be empathetic, articulate and respectful in interacting with patients and their families so as to enhance truthful and trustworthy relationship.
Original languageChinese (Simplified)
Pages (from-to)51-53
Number of pages3
Journal护理管理杂志 (Journal of nursing administration)
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • Negligence of care
  • Medical incident
  • Professional ethics
  • Legal liability

Cite this