The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2000 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

How to Handle Any Legal Problem

Anthony L. Dewitt, JD, RRT, Bartimus, Frickleton, Robertson & Obetz; Jefferson City, Missouri

Risk Management can be divided into two distinct components: preventing problems from becoming lawsuits, and responding appropriately once litigation ensues. This presentation will look at how to handle the most common legal problems arising in clinical practice. We will examine:
A. Preventing Malpractice Lawsuits: Most lawsuits can be avoided through very simple techniques of good patient communication. Do you know how to prevent a lawsuit? Do you know that there are some things you can do that will almost ensure you get sued?
B. Damage Control: What to do once a lawsuit has been filed. Learn how to avoid the pitfalls of collusion, witness tampering, records spoliation, and other problems that will make a bad situation even worse.
C. Negligent Supervision: If your job is to supervise, and you do a bad job of it, can you be personally liable? The answers may surprise you.
D. Licensure Actions: What happens when the state wants your credentials back? Learn from the mistakes of others as we examine the best ways to avoid getting called on the carpet by your state board.
E. Slander, Libel, Defamation, and Interference with Contract: What, you thought therapists could only get sued for malpractice? Think again. In this segment we examine all the potential causes of action a therapist might have to answer, and how to avoid them in the first place.
F. Employment Law: Sam got fired. Sam's view is he was fired because his boss is a woman. His boss thinks Sam is a major attitude problem with the potential to bring down the whole department. What are Sam's remedies? How can "The Boss" protect herself? And, if you thought the National Labor Relations Board only dealt with unions, think again.
G. Criminal Law: Answer only yes or no: do you still beat your spouse? That's right, it's an unfair question, and that's only half the story. Learn not only what your rights are, but also how to enforce them when dealing with the state.
H. Open Questions: Need an answer to a legal problem--this is your chance to get it in the Audience Participation portion of this seminar.
The handouts for this seminar will be distributed only to attendees at the time of the presentation.

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