The Fear of Liability and the Use of Restraints in Nursing Homes


Sandra H. Johnson

The routine use of chemical and physical restraints in nursing homes is bad care. Medical and nursing literature on the care of nursing home patients consistently criticizes the use of restraints when that use is unrelated to diagnosis and treatment considerations. Federal and state laws have included restrictions on the use of restraints for some time. The criticisms of inappropriate and indiscriminate use of chemical and physical restraints are not new. What, then, supports their continued misuse despite the ordinarily powerful combination of preofessional and governmental approbation?

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