The Law Offices of Brian E. Quinn

April 2015 Archives

Medical examiner v. coroner: Same job, different qualifications?

For a long time, a friend of ours thought the term "medical examiner" was just a fancy way to say "coroner." It took some time, but we eventually succeeded in convincing her that they are not the same and that the differences are not minor matters -- depending on where you are. It may or may not be as simple as, say, one being appointed and the other elected.

P.A. Rep. Topper Introduces Bill to Bring Full Practice Authority to Nurse Practitioners

This past month, Representative Jesse Topper (R-Bedford) introduced House Bill 765 which modernizes the State's Professional Law to bring full practice authority to Nurse Practitioners.

Guidelines for Prescribing Opioid Analgesics

The number of visits to hospital emergency rooms related to the misuse or abuse of pharmaceuticals rose dramatically during the latter part of the last decade. Between 2004 through 2011, the numbers rose 16% per year growing from 626,000 to over 1.4 million. A 2011 report from the Centers for Disease Control showed that Pennsylvania ranks among the 12 states with the highest death rates with prescription opiate overdoses. Pennsylvania drug-induced deaths (15.7 per 100,000 population) exceeded the national rate (12.8 per 100,000). On December 3, 2014, the Pennsylvania Joint State Government Commission published a report "Guidelines for Prescribing Opioid Analgesics" which contains the Advisory Committee's recommendation on prescribing guidelines for Pennsylvania. Some of the guidelines are as follows:

Can depression damage a medical career?

There is no doubt that working as a doctor or nurse is an incredibly stressful career. When most people call something “a matter of life or death,” they’re being figurative. But for medical professionals, this phrase is all too literal. Every day, doctors and nurses are faced with high-stakes decisions that, depending on the circumstances, could have either miraculous or disastrous consequences.

Changes in Child Abuse Law and How They May Affect The Healthcare Professional

Child abuse investigations in Pennsylvania are governed by the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL). Some of these changes have been driven by the Penn State and Catholic Church sex abuse scandals. The last and most sweeping of these changes took affect December 31, 2014. Although these changes mostly affect educators, they also apply to almost any person who comes into contact with children as part of his/her employment or volunteer service. For instance, part-time volunteer sports coaches, little league coaches, scout masters, counselors at a university's summer sports camp, or anyone else who comes into contact with children as part of employment or volunteer service. Therefore, as a nurse, doctor, pharmacist or other healthcare professional, if you volunteer in any capacity where you come into contact with children, you may now be required to report child abuse. If you fail to do so, you could be charged criminally. If charged criminally, this will affect your professional license. Please find a copy of THE ACT here. For questions or more information on this topic, please contact me.


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