Medicine and law (Med Law)

Publisher: World Association for Medical Law

Journal description

Medicine and Law is an international publication dealing with medico legal issues. Articles, court decisions, and legislation on: Medical Law, forensic medicine, sexology and law, psychiatry and law, psychology and law, dentistry and law, nursing law, pharmaceutical law, medical ethics, clinical criminology, drugs, alcohol, child abuse, medical experimentation, genetic engineering, organ transplantation, abortion, contraception, sterilization, euthanasia, religion, AIDS, etc.

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Website Medicine & Law website
Other titles Medicine and law
ISSN 0723-1393
OCLC 8755784
Material type Periodical
Document type Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Children having cerebral palsy will incur life-long disabilities, which require high costs of medical and nursing care. This imposes a tremendous burden on the families of the affected children, whether financially or emotionally. It is understandable for the affected families to initiate court litigation in order to alleviate the financial burden and at the same time to overcome the emotional pain associated with the permanent and lifetime implications which cerebral palsy entails. However, suing for such injuries in court and identification of medical malpractice is not an easy task for the families. Further, court litigation tends to be tedious, lengthy and unpleasant. The hazards of litigation have prompted several countries to find an available alternative to court litigation, such as the implementation of a no-fault compensation system, to settle these types of claims. Thus, it is much applauded that the Japan Obstetric Compensation System for Cerebral Palsy was established in January 2009, with the aim of helping children with such disabilities to improve their quality of life and to provide monetary compensation in order to lessen the economic burden on the family. The system features two vital pillars; that is, compensation and causal analysis prevention. The system aims at improving the quality of maternity care and analyzing the causes of accidents in order to prevent similar cases from happening in the future. Overall, the system clearly depicts social solidarity in encouraging collective responsibility for the mishaps suffered by the community.
    Medicine and law 06/2015; 34(2):336-355.
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    ABSTRACT: As an alternative to the tort or fault-based system, a no-fault compensation system has been viewed as having the potential to overcome problems inherent in the tort system by providing fair, speedy and adequate compensation for medically injured victims. Proponents of the suggested no-fault compensation system have argued that this system is more efficient in terms of time and money, as well as in making the circumstances in which compensation is paid, much clearer. However, the arguments against no-fault compensation systems are mainly on issues of funding difficulties, accountability and deterrence, particularly, once fault is taken out of the equation. Nonetheless, the no-fault compensation system has been successfully implemented in various countries but, at the same time, rejected in some others, as not being implementable. In the present trend, the no-fault system seems to fit the needs of society by offering greater access to justice for medically injured victims and providing a clearer “road map” towards obtaining suitable redress. This paper aims at providing the readers with an overview of the characteristics of the no fault compensation system and some examples of countries that have implemented it.
    Medicine and law 12/2014; 33(4):21-53.
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    ABSTRACT: Physician's attitudes towards patients with incurable cancer or at the end-of-life process--treatment of patients, withholding ventilation support, physician-assisted suicide--have changed rapidly in recent years. In cases such as incurable cancer, illnesses in the terminal phase, some neurologic diseases and AIDS, physicians and other health care workers experience dilemmas, arguments and problems on the subjects of whether or not to tell the truth or how to do it, who should inform the patient or his/her guardian, and then, how to give treatment to patients with incurable cancer or withhold ventilation support. All of these issues are affected by the country's' sociocultural and economic structures, the physician's attitudes at the end of life,the medical practice and the form of health structures. In this study our objectives are to assess physicians' views in Turkey regarding the process of the end of life and decision-making, to compare them with views from the USA, Japan and Saudi Arabia and to cristalize a cross-cultural assessment. Our study contains three clinical situations covering the following areas: (1) a patient's right to be informed of incurable cancer, (2) doctor-assisted suicide (3) the conflicting rights of patients, doctors and the family in issues such as refusing ventilatory support or witholding treatment. The four-point Likert Scale was used to mark the responses to the statements. The significant cultural, social and economic differences that exist in health care services between regions in our country affect physician-patient communication and end of life decision-making, as reflected in the process of obtaining informed consent.
    Medicine and law 12/2013; 32(4):549-65.
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    ABSTRACT: Society is changing at an unprecedented rate. Several areas of knowledge are evolving on a daily basis, namely medicine and connected sciences. Hence it is needed that the legislator walks at least right behind this evolution, in order not to be considered retrograde. One of the areas that need the constant attention of the legislator is medicine, as far as prolonging life is considered. We have witnessed several cases along the decades of people who are not living a long and healthy life, but rather just a long life, with little quality in it. Therefore, it is also known that issues such as euthanasia have been discussed at several levels. Criminal law, in most countries, namely in Portugal, does not admit any type of euthanasia. We will briefly analyse the two Articles in the Portuguese Penal Code concerning this matter, in order to come to the conclusion of its pertinence and adequacy to today's society.
    Medicine and law 12/2013; 32(4):525-39.
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    ABSTRACT: This article discusses who can write a valid advanced directive by analyzing the classical theory of disabilities and the introduction of the criterion of judgment in civil law. In the search for the answer of the proposed problem, this article examines how countries that have legislated on the AD deals with it and, such as Brazil, which still has no legislation on policies can advance the issue, equalizing the age criterion with the personality rights of considered incapable.
    Medicine and law 12/2013; 32(4):541-8.
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    ABSTRACT: This paper aims to discuss the development of the notion that the patient has the right to refuse treatment, and how the Brazilian legal system is dealing with bioethical dilemmas, such as the possibility of exercising autonomy through advance directives. The paper discusses the lack of legislation to regulate important issues in the end of life healthcare, and what ethical guidelines exist, providing physicians with ethical and legal parameters to deal with the patient's will.
    Medicine and law 12/2013; 32(4):459-80.
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    ABSTRACT: There are currently high profile debates about legal and ethical aspects of end of life care and treatment in the U.K. and Brazil. Unlike some other jurisdictions, neither country has legalised assisted dying or euthanasia. We argue that it is timely to consider the issues from the perspectives of an evolving concept in bioethics, that of solidarity.
    Medicine and law 12/2013; 32(4):481-96.
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    ABSTRACT: Advance directives emerge in the doctor-patient relationship as a way to ensure that the autonomy of the patient is observed, prior to a potential state of incapacity. Thus, autonomy can be exercised ensuring patient's dignity and self-determination. Advance directives yet have the power to drive the medical practitioner and his staff so that it is given the treatment and care previously chosen by the patient. The main purpose of this paper is to show the lack of legislation on the matter in Brazil versus the recognition of Advance Directives by the Brazilian Federal Council of Medicine. Can a mere resolution of the Council transform directives into enforceable wishes? This is an answer we intend to offer throughout the text.
    Medicine and law 12/2013; 32(4):515-23.
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    ABSTRACT: The article describes the recent Portuguese Act of 16 July 2012 on Living wills and Health care proxy, in a comparative perspective. After six years of parliamentary debate, the law was approved by unanimity and provides binding advance declaration of will, as long as it respects strict procedural control (Notary control, non-compulsory medical information and a (declarative) National Registry of Advance Declarations). The Author considers the Law a step forward in the right direction for the promotion of health care planning and ageing, especially for people suffering from dementia, and the autonomy of the patient in the end-of-life.
    Medicine and law 12/2013; 32(4):497-502.
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    ABSTRACT: I will problematize medical performances at the end of life, confronting them with the responses of Portuguese Criminal Law. By starting from a review of literature, both in Portugal and abroad, I will cross the criminal doctrine with a broader, interdisciplinary approach, including the reconsideration of medicine ethical tradition (notably the Hippocratic Writings) and the present developments in neurosciences. The frame of homeostasis (neurobiology of emotions) by Damisio, with compassion in the top, helps to clarify to which extent medical act according to legesart is becomes the centre of the problem. Indeed, it is within the medical act, understood as the meeting of two autonomies--patient's and doctor's autonomies--that the compassion takes place as a result of the agreement/compromise between the patient's will of ceasing her/his life in a situation of unbearable suffering and the doctor's duty to relieve that suffering. Compassion arises here as a "homeostasis instrument", that is, an emotion which is important in the regulation of life, even when we are speaking about end(ing) of life. This new perspective allows us to guess a shift of paradigm on the ethical and social levels. On the other hand, in so far as we have passed from the compassionate response in medical setting to its discussion, successively, in medical ethics, in the courts, and as a normative instrument, I claim that we are before the "transition from an automatic homeostasis to a deliberate homeostasis" (Damisio). Therefore, 1 seek for a balance between the spontaneous and the planned, concerning the issue of praxis. Indeed, what increasingly happens in medical praxis should be brought together with theory, whereby medical law has a word to say.
    Medicine and law 12/2013; 32(4):567-76.
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    ABSTRACT: The traditional approach towards end-of-life decision-making in Italy has changed. Whilst article 32 of the Italian Constitution recognizes the 'right to health' that grants patients to withhold or withdraw medical treatment, the Italian Medical Ethics Code neglects any kind of assistance during death or euthanasia. Although norms seem clear, ethicists and lawyers continue to discuss if withdrawing treatment from an incompetent patient should be classified as immoral and/or illegal. This is the result of acceptance of concepts such as patient's autonomy and the "right to die". On one hand, ethicist and lawyers, valuing the patient's autonomy, believe that letting die cannot be punished. On the other hand, however, some conservative ethicists and lawyers argue that the right to life is absolute and imperative and therefore a physician must do everything possible to protect one's life.
    Medicine and law 12/2013; 32(4):577-85.
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    ABSTRACT: This article seeks to outline the law relating to euthanasia and assisted-suicide in New Zealand, and to critically examine whether there are any practical justifications for retaining the current prohibition. The paper initially discusses terminology, then what is and what is not permissible in New Zealand under the present legal regime. The paper then very briefly reviews the other jurisdictions which have euthanasia or assisted-suicide laws. Finally, the paper looks at the practical arguments for and against reform.
    Medicine and law 12/2013; 32(4):503-13.
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    ABSTRACT: By ratification of the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine, previously expressed wishes as a completely new institute have been, via Article 9, implemented in the Czech legal system. With no history of practical experience with previously expressed wishes, and after more than 6 years of legislative work on the new Act on Healthcare Service, a unique provision was enacted which is actually not meant to serve as an instrument enabling withdrawal of the mechanical support of vital functions. In this paper, the great paradox of the Czech legal provision on previously expressed wishes is to be discussed and critically analyzed in order to explain the seriousness of the consequences of initial misunderstanding of the purposes and context of previously expressed wishes.
    Medicine and law 12/2013; 32(4):429-40.
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    ABSTRACT: The Ethics Committee at the Patient's Bedside (ECatPB) was established at Beilinson Hospital and began its activity a few years ago. A retrospective viewpoint will enable us to reflect on moral dilemmas and ethical conflicts as sources of professionals' moral distress. The activities of the ECatPB will be reviewed through sample cases and in the light of the promotion of optimal treatment. Five dominant contributions of the ECatPB will be discussed: prevention of moral distress; positioning the committee as an integral and inseparable component of the medical institution's daily life; cultivating the advisory, rather than punitive, character of the committee; maintaining constant ethics dialogues with patients, caregivers and professionals; and communications with guardians in light of informed consent or informed refusal. The summary ofthis paper will include conclusions, recommendations and personal notes.
    Medicine and law 09/2013; 32(3):277-85.
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, I will examine some legal and ethical issues that arise in relation to neuroscience research involving older persons in Canada. Such research includes research relating to dementia, including Alzheimer's disease. Dementias such as Alzheimer's are organic diseases affecting mainly older persons. They adversely affect mental acuity. There is still much that is unknown about such illnesses, making research on these diseases particularly necessary. In this paper, I will identify and focus on particular concerns with respect to the participation of older persons in research. These concerns are: Inclusion in and Access to Research; Informed Consent; Incidental Findings; and Advance Directives. I will discuss each of these concerns in the context of Canadian research ethics policy and law. The aim of this paper is not to provide an exhaustive discussion of these issues, each of which may rightfully demand a full paper. The aim of this paper is to identify and paint a canvass of these particularly relevant issues, discuss the policy and law on them, identify any existing gaps and propose some solutions to remedy these gaps and protect older persons who participate in research.
    Medicine and law 09/2013; 32(3):389-422.
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    ABSTRACT: Real-life ethical issues that concern those engaged in medical practice existed and were discussed in earlier ages. It seems that many of the same dilemmas that we face today occupied our ancestors as well. An investigation of historical sources may be useful in showing earlier methods of coping with the dilemmas relating to health and illness. In this article we will present several such topics taken from the sources of Jewish society in pre-modern Europe. These sources served as the basis for a course given to medical students as part of the Medical Humanities track. The "raw materials" are historical, written Hebrew and Yiddish sources from Jewish society. Genres include Minute books, the huge corpus of Responsa, historical elegies written about epidemics, memoirs, and instruction books written by Jewish physicians. Profound bio-ethical issues can be found in historical sources. Main issues discussed are: physician's fees, obligations, and rights; personal characteristics expected of physicians; physician's obligations when his/her own life is endangered; medicalization of certain human conditions; and ideological questions regarding the relationship between traditional folk medicine and modern, academic medicine. The historical distance facilitates a freer discussion about distant people, while getting in touch with our own attitudes.
    Medicine and law 09/2013; 32(3):287-303.