ER Nurse, Stop Playing Lawyer

ER Nurse, in this thread (regarding remedying an alleged medical mistake) you pop your head in, give legal advise, fail to say it’s based on your understanding of Washington law and then misstate Washington law on medical malpractice actions.
[li]It’s dangerous to give legal advice on a message board[/li][li]It’s really dangerous to give legal opinions on a message board when you’re not a lawyer[/li][li]It’s even more dangerous to give legal opinions on a message board when you’re not a lawyer and have a very sketchy idea of what the law is[/li][li]But what’s very very wrong is your opinion of what the law is…[/li][/ul]

You give a legal conclusion here:

It appears to me that you are from Washington, the OP querying about remedies is from Maine. Here’s a question: Are you attempting to quote all law in the US, Washington law or perhaps Maine law? It becomes clear later, but trust me you need to indicate this.

Then I popped in to ask you not to throw around your legal ‘knowledge’ unless you really know what you’re talking about. I explained that although I was not familiar with your state’s laws regarding med mal, that I was very familiar with it generally and more so in two states. I explained to you the basic elements that are pretty muched involved in all med mal cases.

You disagreed with me, quoted part of the statute governing med mal cases in Washington.

Guess the fuck what?

This supports exactly what I said: *"Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 7.70.040

Necessary elements of proof that injury resulted from failure to follow accepted standard of care.

The following shall be necessary elements of proof that injury resulted from the failure of the health care provider to follow the accepted standard of care:

(1) The health care provider failed to exercise that degree of care, skill, and learning expected of a reasonably prudent health care provider at that time in the profession or class to which he belongs, in the state of Washington, acting in the same or similar circumstances;

(2) Such failure was a proximate cause of injury."*

This contains the essential elements I discussed with you: Duty appears to come in under the definition of healthcare provider, breach of the standard of care is when “health care provider failed to exercise that degree of care, skill, and learning expected of a reasonably prudent health care provider at that time in the profession or class to which he belongs, in the state of Washington, acting in the same or similar circumstances” Causation is dealt with in two as well as injury. Moreover, as stated by the Washington Supremem Court, “these elements are particularized expressions of the four traditional elements of negligence: duty, breach, proximate cause, and damage or injury.” Berger v. Sonneland 26 P.3d 257, 263-4 (2001).

You appear to distinguish between a failure to act and an act as far as the definition of negligence. Sir/Madam, any first year law student can tell you that negligence is both. There is no such freakin distinction except in your little head.

Then, you say

You’re right there, that’s what I told you, can you not see that, please look at the statute and understand that the law you quoted is for malpractice claims in Washington. If you knew as much as a first year law student you would get this.

And, FWIW, the Washington Supreme Court has held that emotional damages without objective symptomology are recoverable under the statute governing actions against a health care provider. See id. Although what’s fun is the Court doesrequire that an expert testify as to causation which essentially nullifies this…sneaky.

You assume that there is some Uniform Statute governing all medical malpractice in all states–there’s not. Despite the fact that it says ‘uniform’ does not mean every state has it. Many states have something similar to it, but it is not the same and certainly the case law interpreting similar passages in different states is not always the same. So, even if you were right in your assessment of Washington law, you are wrong to give that advice as if it were qually applicable in Maine…

Look, you seem articulate enough, I’m sure you’ll do very well here, but stop with the legal stuff. The small amount of legal knowledge you have from inservices, risk managment, continuing nursing eduction and the like is not enough for you to spout off legal advice here. Dopers generally like you to be able to back up your claims and have a sound factual basis for them. I can’t remember the name of the gentleman/woman that Bricker so recently took to task over spouting off legal bs, but trust me, you don’t want to start feeling like him/her…[sub]and anyway this is not nearly as eloquent as Bricker’s…[/sub]


I’d much rather get legal opinions from nurses than from lawyers. Wouldn’t everybody?


and I was all ready for a thread about some event at a hospital w/a nurse telling a patient to call Sam Bernstein.

I remembr the boy next door wanting to play doctor… I was thinking this was gonna be some nurse wanting to play lawyer…

Still though a good rant. I give it an 8 but I can’t dance to it.:smiley:

Nice rant.

[sub]Of course, I’m rather biased since I am a first year law student and oh-so-excited that I was able to follow all of that…[/sub]

It seems like lately there’s been a rash of from-the-hip legal advice from all manner of doofuses, not just the interesting case of Beryl_Mooncalf. It’s really getting on my nerves.

Thanks for fighting the good fight, BottledBlondJeanie.

Yup, that sure sounds better than the alternative: having lawyers perform medical procedures (like, say, a colonoscopy).

Oh wait, I guess when lawyers ream you up the ass, that’s exactly what they are doing … :smiley:

It’s not dangerous for the person giving advice.

If you seek legal advice from a message board (especially one not affiliated with any bar association or other legal entity) don’t be disappointed by the quality of the advice. That goes for advice on anything else for that matter.

Well, you’re correct msmith537, advice from a message board will not replace consulting with a professional.

However, generally on the SDMB if you ask a legal or medical question you can expect to get at least somewhat accurate info, if only to better inform you when you do see a professional.

I think what BBJ is objecting to is someone who obviously has no idea what they’re talking about pulling shit out of their ass and acting like it’s fact. It brings down the quality of info available in GQ.

Again, GQ doesn’t replace consulting with professionals in person, but if I have some odd thought about tortes or heart conditions that I want clarity about it’s nice to get a general sort of overview from GQ that has a degree of correctness.

(BTW, if this is not what you’re objecting to BBJ, uh, well. Sorry 'bout that.

[anal-retentive nitpick]

**alice: ** Tortes? You are objecting to public advice on cake?

(I think you mean torts.)


Don’t you know that lawyers make the best bakers?

Ok…who do you want to ask first - The guy who drive-bys every thread on economics with some nonsense about automobile depreciation, the college kid who blames everything on G W Bush or that fellow who “grapes” everything with purple text?

Well, I was thinking more like the multiple practicing lawyers, MD’s, tax accountants, credit specialists, bra fitters, etc. etc that stop by occasionally.

Obviously, not every poster is a font of information, but there are some very well informed posters here.

And there are a lot of posters who are full of shit. How do you tell the diference?

Actually, BBJ, I have to disagree with you a bit. It’s not the least bit dangerous to give any sort of advice on the boards, providing you’re not advocating some sort of illegal activity. This holds true whether you’re a professional or not, or even whether you’re correct or not. I can give all the legal, medical, and car repair advice I want at absolutely no risk to myself. You’d be a damn fool to take my legal or car repair advice, but that’s a whole other issue.

Except, of course, the (small but nonzero chance) of prosecution for practicing law or medicine without a license. Maybe you should stick to car repair?

This is simply ignorant. A lawyer runs several risks by dishing out advice on a message board, including:

  1. Malpractice.
  2. Unauthorized practice of law (if the OP is from a state you aren’t licensed in).
  3. Unanticipated creation of fiduciary duties.

It’s surprisingly easy to create a lawyer-client relationship. Money need not change hands; all that really matters is what the putative client reasonably thought. And while you might think it unreasonable to consider a message board post to constitute advice sufficient to create that relationship, depending on the OP, it just might be – a concrete OP asking a legal question about a very specific set of real-world facts, answered in a non-general way, might just do the trick.

And sure, I’d like to think that no one on the SDMB would be assholish enough to sue me or complain to the bar about a post on these boards, but I’m not gonna take that risk. That’s why I, and most of the lawyers here, post big fat disclaimers before we answer legal questions in any way that could be construed as advice. **

Do so with legal advice and you’ve committed unauthorized practice of law, a crime in every state.

I stand corrected. It can be problematic to give advice if you’re a professional. I have to stand by my claim that the layman is pretty damn safe, though. It’s simply not reasonable, at least under any circumstances I can envision, to assume that the advice of someone who in no way represents themselves as being trained in the law constitutes an attorney-client relationship.

And, frankly, given the rate at which non-professional posters on this board spout out the medical and legal advice, if there was any real risk involved, someone would have been sued long ago. Yes, there’s a theoretical risk of someone who’s talking out their ass getting sued, but for all practical intents and purposes, the layman safely spout off as much as he likes.

CCL, I really don’t mean to pile on, but the irony of your first statement (“providing you’re not advocating some sort of illegal activity”) when contrasted with the second (wherein you admit that there’s a problem with it, although the distinction between getting sued (a civil process) and prosecuted (a criminal process) seems to have escaped you) cracks me up.

Damn, I had these left over when I got done, so ((())). Glad I got that out of my system.

Can you give me one cite where a lawyer was sued for information given on a message board? Or any professional for that matter.