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Arch Hellen Med, 32(1), January-February 2015, 85-91


The legal framework of medical liability – Comparison between Greece and Switzerland

E. Petrou,1,4 V. Karali,2 A. Danos,3 P. Pantelidis4
1Division of Cardiology, "Onassis" Cardiac Surgery Center, Athens,
2First Department of Propedeutic and Internal Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Medical School, Athens,
3Technological Educational Institute of Pireus, Pireus,
4Department of Economics, School of Economics, Business and International Studies, University of Pireus, Pireus, Greece

Medical practice is a very complex activity, involving serious preparation, continuing information, continuous improvement and correct application of the acquired knowledge, along with liability for actions taken. Moral-behavioral rules have been observed in the medical field since antiquity and over time these rules have been transformed into medical deontology. This ethical practice is used in both the patient-physician relationship and in physician-society relations. Liability can be defined as being a reaction to a social deed that the society condemns. Medical liability results from the peculiarities of the medical profession and from the unforeseeable and irreversible outcome of the medical act. It is of great importance to identify the differences between moral (deontological) liability and legal liability in medical practice. Public opinion and the professional conscience condemn moral deviation on the part of the physician. Sanctions, in the form of suppression, and regulations, at the level of preemption-deterrence, are crystallized within the judicial systems of organized societies. The historical origins of each state formulate the components of its structure at the civil, economic and societal levels. The expression of the legacy of these origins is recognized in the legal framework that regulates the practice of medicine and the associated liability. A comparative study of the relevant jurisprudence between Greece and Switzerland demonstrates the common legal approach to medical liability at the European level, despite minor differences that result from the idiosyncratic characteristics among the peoples of the continent.

Key words: Greece, Legal framework, Medical liability, Switzerland.

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