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A Journal on Forensic Medicine
Minerva Medicolegale 2004 March;124(1):1-9
Guidelines and medical malpractice liability
The author deals with the problem in its different aspects of juridical, medico-legal, deontological and professional ethics, starting from the premise that medical science has made a really exceptional progress and it is necessary to keep oneself abreast of technical developments. Therefore, from the clinical point of view it is always very important to make good use of the guidelines. But from the medico-legal point of view, in order to avoid discussion or to incur judicial proceedings or sentences, it is more important to take care of humanistic aspects of the relationship with the patient, mainly explaining to him in a simple language and completely the scientific notions. Finally, the author points out the relativity of the importance of guidelines in the evaluation of medical malpractice liability, emphasizing the uselessness of taxonomic endeavours in a field in which the medico-legal judgement must from ''case to case'' establish the cause of the damage and the possible professional incapacity, imprudence or negligence.