66 Tenn. L. Rev. 819 (1998-1999)
Respecting Our Elders: Can Tennessee Do More to Protect Its Elder Population from Institutional Abuse and Neglect

handle is hein.journals/tenn66 and id is 829 raw text is: RESPECTING OUR ELDERS: CAN TENNESSEE DO
MORE TO PROTECT ITS ELDER POPULATION FROM
INSTITUTIONAL ABUSE AND NEGLECT?
Table of Contents
I.  INTRODUC ION  .........................................  819
II. THE GOVERNMENTAL ENFORCEMENT COMPONENT AND
THE MANDATORY REPORTING COMPONENT .................. 822
A. The Deficient Nursing Home Statute and the Adult Protection
A ct  ...............................................  823
B. Problems with the Deficient Nursing Home Statute and the
Tennessee Adult Protection Act that Should be Addressed by
the Nursing Home Residents Protection Act .............. 826
I. THE STATUTORY CAUSE OF ACTION COMPONENT ............. 831
A. Tennessee's Medical Malpractice Act ................... 832
B. Problems with the Medical Malpractice Act that Render It
Unsatisfactory for Protection against Institutional Elder
Abuse and Neglect  ..................................  833
C. A Statutory Cause of Action Independent of the Medical
M alpractice Act  ....................................  835
1. California's Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil
Protection  Act ...................................  836
2. Florida's Nursing Homes Act ....................... 838
IV. THE RESIDENT BILL OF RIGHTS COMPONENT ................. 840
V. THE CHARITABLE IMMUNITY LOOPHOLE ..................... 841
VI. CONCLUSION  ..........................................  844
I. INTRODUCTION
The prevalence of mistreatment, abuse, and neglect of elder institutional
residents has led one observer to note that the current lack of care in some
[nursing] homes is as obvious as the urine-permeated air.' In one study,
approximately forty percent of nursing home staff admitted to engaging in
psychological abuse of residents, and nearly ten percent of staff admitted to
engaging in physical abuse.2 Estimates show that five percent of the elder
1. Sheila Wissner, Nursing Homes Skimping on Care, Advocates Allege, TENNESSEAN
(Nashville), June 21, 1998, at 2A.
2. Karl Pillemer & David W. Moore, Abuse of Patients in Nursing Homes: Findings
from a Survey of Staff, 29 GERONTOLOGIST 314, 317 (1989).

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