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Criminalising medical malpractice: A comparative perspective

Kazarian, Melinee 2020. Criminalising medical malpractice: A comparative perspective. London, UK: Routledge. 10.4324/9781315099170

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The criminalisation of healthcare malpractice has become a highly topical and somewhat controversial question in recent years. Studies have demonstrated that in England and Wales, the trend towards holding healthcare professionals to account for malpractice is rapidly growing, abolishing the deference doctors enjoyed decades ago. The changing attitude of the judges to claims for clinical negligence have been well documented. The role of the criminal process in England and Wales has been less fully analysed with the criminal law playing a very limited role until recently in the regulation of poor healthcare practice. In contrast in France, the criminal process has for a long time been invoked more readily to respond to cases of healthcare malpractice, which involved even mere errors. In this book, Melinee Kazarian compares English and French criminal law responses to healthcare malpractice and considers what lessons the French model can provide for potential reform in England and elsewhere. The book takes the HIV-contaminated blood episode as a primary example of the different approaches France and England have in dealing with healthcare malpractice. Kazarian emphasizes the impact of rules of substantive criminal law and criminal procedure on the way in which healthcare malpractice is criminalised in a given country. This book explores the key lessons to be drawn on whether the criminal process is an appropriate means to respond to instances of healthcare malpractice. It proposes that features of French criminal law and criminal procedure might be useful to counteract healthcare malpractice. The criminal law can have a useful expressive and retributive role in the healthcare context but only if it is used to penalise conduct which represents a disregard to the health and safety of patients, and if criminalisation is directed at people who actually have the power to make decisions which affect patients and to change practices within healthcare institutions. The book proposes that corporate offences should have a more significant role to criminalise institutional fault than they currently do, and that alternative ways of control and regulation should be improved to ensure safety in the healthcare context. Victims of healthcare malpractice and their families, should be given more opportunities to express their voice and obtain reparation following instances of healthcare failings which had caused them harm.

Item Type: Book
Book Type: Authored Book
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Law
Cardiff Law & Politics
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 978-1-138-29756-2
ISSN: 978-1-138-29756-2
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 1 March 2024
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2024 09:15

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