Civil liability for medical error

  • O.O. Mendelia
Keywords: iability insurance, structure of insurance risk, medical error, civil liability of a doctor, justified risk.


The article is devoted to the research of the grounds for bringing a medical worker to civil liability for a mistake made during the provision of medical care (services) to a patient.
The structural elements of insurance risk are considered in the contract of civil liability insurance of health care institutions, where the mistake made by a medical worker during the provision of medical care (services) to a patient is a source of insurance risk, an event that causes negative health consequences or the patient’s life and, accordingly, is subject to insurance coverage in the above insurance contract.
It has been proven that medical malpractice, as a basis for payment of insurance indemnity by the insurer to the victim, is characterized by unsuccessful processes that are clearly associated with adverse consequences for the health or life of the patient in connection with the latter’s medical care. In this case, this error is such only in the presence of inconsistency of actual decision, actions (inaction) of the nurse to the established standards of medical care in each case, provided there are no grounds for reasonable for establishing the validity of the deviation of the medical worker from the established standards of medical care must find its own clear regulations of medical care must find its own clear regulations to avoid unjustified reference to him as a basis for exemption from legal liability of the perpetrator.
The concept of medical error is clarified, which is proposed to mean the negligent infliction of harm to the life or health of a patient during the performance of his professional duties, in the absence of adequate (necessary and sufficient) application of special knowledge and skills, as well justified risk in each case. It is assumed that the justification of the risk, as a condition for the release of a medical worker from liability, should be established by the court on the basis of a forensic examination.
It has been established that medical error is characterized by negligent harm to the health or life of a patient by a healthcare professional, and therefore intent, as one of the forms of guilt in civil law, excludes error as such; only fault in the form of negligence is the basis for insurance indemnity. Carelessness in these legal relations is manifested in the form of careless attitude of the medical worker to the potential risk or his negligence in relation to the latter.