Medical responsibility is affected by various factors. It is influenced by scientific progress and sociological and psychological factors. For instance, over the past few decades, a new phase of commercialization, globalization, and technological advancements has been experienced by the world. The medical profession has evolved together with these advancements. And as a result, the profession is becoming more money-oriented, and medical negligence has become a severe issue.Legal Affairs Department of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) representative Dr. Khaldoon Walid Nabhan talked about Medical Errors and Liability Law in the UAE. He noted that Medical responsibility is influenced by progress in the field of science. It is likewise influenced significantly by psychological and sociological factors which are hard to analyze in most cases. Although physicians and medical staff are the ones who can more likely be held liable for faulty medical acts, it is the patient who incurs financial, physical, or moral damage as a result of the mistake.
Types of Cases That Can be Filed
The liability of medical malpractice gives rise to both criminal and civil liability. In a civil case, the aggrieved party can file a suit or complaint to claim compensation. In criminal liability, on the other hand, the aggrieved party has to file the complaint in a criminal court against the doctor or health care practitioner.The channels wherein patients can file claims for medical malpractice are provided in Article 18 of the UAE Medical Malpractice Law.According to Article 18, a complaint can be filed to the health authority, local courts, or the public prosecution. There are three basic options that a victim can follow in filing medical malpractice case:
1. File a claim to a local health care authority.
2. File a complaint to the civil court, seeking compensation for injury or damages
3. File a complaint to the criminal court against the doctor or health care practitioner
Other Ways to File Medical Negligence
Patients can file medical negligence as tort
A tort is an act or omission that causes injury and harm to a person for which the court imposes liability. On the other hand, negligence as a tort is a breach of duty resulting from the failure to do something that a reasonable person would do under the same circumstances. For example, doctors should follow a standard of care. The medical negligence is given the following conditions:
1.When the doctors breached the duty of care to the patients.
2.When the doctors violated the duty of care.
3.When consequential damage happened as a result of these breaches
Patients may file medical negligence as an occupational crime
"Occupational Crime" is a term that refers to crimes that are committed primarily within the context of legitimate occupation. Medical negligence is considered a severe form of occupational crime that compromises the profession's nobility and integrity. Examples of these crimes are taking and offering kickbacks, fee-splitting, price fixing, performing unnecessary surgery, fraudulent billing, upcoding, misrepresenting services, etc.
The law on Medical Negligence in the UAE provides that anyone violating the provisions of Articles 1 and 14 of the law will be sentenced to two to five years of imprisonment and shall be given a fine of 200,000 AED to 500,000 AED. The penalty can also be either imprisonment or a fine.Whoever violates Articles 12 and 15 shall receive a minimum penalty of six months to two years imprisonment and a fine of 100,000 to 200,000 AED. Either imprisonment or a fine can also be imposed. Those violating Article 13 of this law shall be sentenced to three months to two years of imprisonment and a fine of 50,000 to 100,000 AED.