Medical Malpractice Charges in Germany - Role of the Forensic Pathologist in the Preliminary Criminal Proceeding

    Volume 50, Issue 2 (March 2005)

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    CODEN: JFSOAD

    Published Online: 1 March 2005

    Page Count: 5


    Madea, B
    Institute of Forensic Medicine, University of Bonn,

    Egl, M
    Institute of Forensic Medicine, University of Bonn,

    Dettmeyer, R
    Institute of Forensic Medicine, University of Bonn,

    (Received 28 March 2004; accepted 25 September 2004)

    Abstract

    Medical malpractice charges from 1989 to 2002 were evaluated. A rising number of cases during this period is evident. The charges of practice falling below the standard of care (n = 285) were surveyed to determine who informed the prosecution, which clinical subjects are involved, what kind of charges can be found and whether such allegations can be appropriately assessed by means of a forensic autopsy. Forensic pathologists were found to be useful for ascertainment and interpretation of autopsy findings. If special questions arise, an additional expert opinion should be suggested by the forensic pathologist. There was no relevant shift in the range of subjects involved compared to former studies. The investigated charges might represent only a small fraction of cases of medical practice falling below the standard of care.


    Paper ID: JFS2004136

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS2004136

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    Title Medical Malpractice Charges in Germany - Role of the Forensic Pathologist in the Preliminary Criminal Proceeding
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30