Watson and Kottenhagen, ‘Patients’ Rights, Medical Error and Harmonisation of Compensation Mechanisms in Europe’

Abstract:
In 1999 the Institute of Medicine reported that most medical injuries relate to unavoidable human error in a context of system failure. Patient safety improves when healthcare providers facilitate blame-free reporting and organisational learning. This is at odds with fault-based civil liability law, which discourages a more open (doctor-patient) communication on medical injuries. The absence of a clear-cut definition of ‘medical error’ complicates litigation and hence swift, appropriate patient compensation. No-fault systems perform better in this respect. A dual track liability system for medical malpractice is challenging to implement and operate, yet may be the only option for Pan-European harmonisation of medical liability.

Kenneth Watson and Rob Kottenhagen, Patients’ Rights, Medical Error and Harmonisation of Compensation Mechanisms in Europe, European Journal of Health Law. Available online: July 2017. DOI: 10.1163/15718093-12460348.

First posted 2017-07-17 06:37:34

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