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A Journal on Forensic Medicine
Minerva Medicolegale 2008 December;128(4):185-93
The penal responsibility of the health professional: where we are today
Unità Operativa di Medicina Legale Azienda Ospedaliera San Sebastiano Caserta, Italia
At a time when the public health service has attained high standards of quality and success in the treatment of disease, the media reports a staggering growth in litigation against health professionals. The evolution of the concept of the penal responsibility of the health operator is reviewed and it is argued that the constant rise in litigation against physicians and the hostility of patients towards the professional reveal a conceptual and procedural confusion that involves users, health structures, legal and health professionals. The author’s analysis specifies the basic concepts necessary for a good forensic medicine activity.