By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law
On April 2, 2020, The American Association of Nurse Attorneys (TAANA) released a position paper providing an analysis of several key legal issues now facing nurses, physicians and other healthcare professionals dealing with the novel coronavirus pandemic throughout the U.S. The paper addresses many key challenges faced by healthcare professionals on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), inadequate COVID-19 testing, and professional license/employment issues.
Main Issues and Recommendations.
Given the alarming number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., TAANA encourages federal, state, and local governments and administrative professional licensing agencies to adopt universal protocols to address several key issues.
Specifically, TAANA recommended:
• the federal government to fully utilize the Defense Production Act to ensure the manufacture and supply of adequate PPE and other medical supplies;
• the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) maintain strict COVID-19 PPE regulations and guidelines that are science-based and data-driven, not supply-driven;
• state professional licensing boards to release position statements which offer guidance and support to healthcare professionals regarding practice and ethical issues during this unprecedented time;
• federal, state, and local government to grant front line healthcare professionals with immediate access to COVID-19 testing;
• lack of COVID-19 testing and rapid results for healthcare professionals and their families is unacceptable; and
• the lack of clear policy may result in the illegal termination or discipline of a healthcare professional or unresolved ethical dilemmas based on inconsistent rules, regulations, standards of practice, and circumstances.
TAANA further encourages nurses and other healthcare professionals to partner with their professional associations in educating the workforce regarding their legal and ethical rights and responsibilities in the healthcare workplace.
A copy of the full TAANA Position Paper can be read on our website.
Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced in Representing Nurses.
The Health Law Firm’s attorneys routinely represent nurses in Board of Nursing investigations and complaints, DORA investigations and complaints, and Department of Health (DOH) investigations and complaints. We appear before the Board of Nursing in licensing matters and in many other legal matters. We represent nurses across the U.S., not just in Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
To contact The Health Law Firm please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 or (970) 416-7456 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.
Diaz Baez, Charlotte. “National Nurse Attorney Association Releases COVID-19 Position Paper.” Georgia Nurses Association (GNA). (April 2, 2020). Web.
“The American Association of Nurse Attorneys: TAANA’s Position Paper on Covid-19; Advocating for NURSES and other Healthcare Professionals licensed throughout the United States of America.” Washington Center for Nursing. (April 2, 2020). Web.
Williams, Hannah. “TAANA’s Position Paper on Covid-19; Advocating for NURSES and other Healthcare Professionals licensed throughout the United States of America.” TAANA. (April 2, 2020). Web.
About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Suite 1000, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.
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