Pediatric malpractice: An overview of Turkey


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Abstract

Background:The objective of this study was to evaluate juridical and medical responsibilities of health-care professionals accused of malpractice in Turkey while they care for patients under the age of 18.Methods:The cases sent to the Council of Forensic Medicine Institution by the courts, including claims of medical malpractice (n = 1458), in order to get an expert opinion between 2002 and 2006, were examined retrospectively. Cases of negligence by health-care professionals who gave medical care to children between the ages of 0 and 18 were evaluated statistically.Results:There was medical malpractice in 28.8% of the cases; and 68.2% of the cases were male. A large proportion of the cases were found to occur in emergency departments; and 57.9% of injuries resulted in death. The specialist doctors seemed to be sued or to be accountable for compensation more frequently than the general practitioners. This can be attributed to the fact that they perform more complicated medical interventions.Conclusions:Courts specializing in health legislation may be useful to decrease the time consumed by trials. These specialized courts will also support logical judgment. In addition, postgraduate education is useful in reducing malpractice claims.

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