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A Journal on Forensic Medicine
Minerva Medicolegale 2002 September;122(3): 121-9
Manslaughter and the psysician recent jurisprudence regarding the assessment of medical behaviour
Polotti di Zumaglia A.
The jurisprudence of legitimacy which in the past has recognised grounds for a sentence of manslaughter in the behaviour of a physician is recalled and the law that regulates this crime and the ways in which doctrine and jurisprudence have interpreted it are then analysed. Mention is then made of the jurisprudence which more recently has changed its attitude, considering patient consensus to be in the nature of a justification which would therefore exclude the blame of the physician, but above all which recognises in medical activity a social service which allows the citizen to exercise his right to health which is guaranteed by the constitution. From this standpoint, the fact that correctly exercised medical activity can never imply the presence of malice required for manslaughter or unjuries is very important. Finally, the insurance consequences of a sentence for manslaughter or criminal coercin are assessed.