In this paper, the authors made a retrospective analysis of 37 of all the 725 legal suits filed in some hospitals of the Apulian region (South Italy) during the period between 1991 and 2000, being all those lodged against operators in the neurological, urological, otorhino-laryngoiatric and cardiosurgical fields, recorded in the Archives of the Health Services of Bari, Brindisi, Lecce and Taranto or in those of our Forensic Department following consultations on medical and surgical responsibility. The idea that doctors never make professional mistakes has gradually changed in recent years, as can easily be understood from the medical literature on the subject, since it has become recognized that a medical (iatrogenic) mistake, although always possible bearing in mind the difficulties inherent to the profession itself, is often the final link in a chain of factors, so that the last figure called upon to act is not necessarily the one responsible, or at any rate not the only one responsible for the adverse or terminal event. This change in attitude is due to the fact that more and more often the patient is cared for not by a single doctor but by a whole team that belongs, moreover, in its turn to a health facility that must possess certain quality and efficiency features. However, these are dependent on the one hand on the availability of financial resources, that are chronically deficient in Italy, and on the other, on other professional figures apart from the medical team. The fragmentation of diagnostic activities and this shift towards a wider frame of responsibility are the main problems as regards the attribution of professional responsibility in the medical field, because there is a risk either of incriminating health workers who in practice had little or nothing to do with the adverse event, or else of being unable to attribute responsibility and thus failing to satisfy the needs of justice, so depriving the weakest element in the situation, the patient, of the right to legal safeguards and restitution in the form of damages.

Epidemiological case survey of medical malpractice in some medical and surgical specialities.

DI NUNNO, Nunzio;
2005

Abstract

In this paper, the authors made a retrospective analysis of 37 of all the 725 legal suits filed in some hospitals of the Apulian region (South Italy) during the period between 1991 and 2000, being all those lodged against operators in the neurological, urological, otorhino-laryngoiatric and cardiosurgical fields, recorded in the Archives of the Health Services of Bari, Brindisi, Lecce and Taranto or in those of our Forensic Department following consultations on medical and surgical responsibility. The idea that doctors never make professional mistakes has gradually changed in recent years, as can easily be understood from the medical literature on the subject, since it has become recognized that a medical (iatrogenic) mistake, although always possible bearing in mind the difficulties inherent to the profession itself, is often the final link in a chain of factors, so that the last figure called upon to act is not necessarily the one responsible, or at any rate not the only one responsible for the adverse or terminal event. This change in attitude is due to the fact that more and more often the patient is cared for not by a single doctor but by a whole team that belongs, moreover, in its turn to a health facility that must possess certain quality and efficiency features. However, these are dependent on the one hand on the availability of financial resources, that are chronically deficient in Italy, and on the other, on other professional figures apart from the medical team. The fragmentation of diagnostic activities and this shift towards a wider frame of responsibility are the main problems as regards the attribution of professional responsibility in the medical field, because there is a risk either of incriminating health workers who in practice had little or nothing to do with the adverse event, or else of being unable to attribute responsibility and thus failing to satisfy the needs of justice, so depriving the weakest element in the situation, the patient, of the right to legal safeguards and restitution in the form of damages.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11587/106086
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