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A Journal on Forensic Medicine
Minerva Medicolegale 2001 December;121(4): 217-16
Professional liability of the health operator and insurance cover. Changes, conflict, blame and solution
Liability for damage caused by the faulty manufacture of goods, the liability of public officials and even magistrates, civil liability within family relationships reveal a social and cultural development that has deeply affected the medical sector. Today no category of health operators can escape the risk of being implicated in legal proceedings for professional liability. This phenomenon has inevitably generated an increased number of cases, which insurers call ''claim frequency'', and growing conflict, which lawyers term ''litigation''. These changes concerning the medical professions have taken place in society, in medicine and in law. The study illustrates the changes and identifies the elements of conflict in terms of national and EC legislation, the evolution of justice and medicolegal interpretation. The authors identify the loopholes in the laws that have been passed and are now in force, the responsibility of health operators and the shortcomings of insurance products. By comparing current methods with statistical data, the study ends by proposing remedies and looks for solutions.