Criminalising Medical Malpractice: A Comparative Perspective, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Criminalising Medical Malpractice

A Comparative Perspective, 1st Edition

By Mélinée Kazarian


200 pages

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Hardback: 9781138297562
pub: 2020-06-24
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The criminalisation of healthcare malpractice has become a highly topical and somewhat controversial question in recent years. Studies have demonstrated that in England and Wales, the trend towards holding healthcare professionals to account for malpractice is rapidly growing, abolishing the deference doctors enjoyed decades ago. The changing attitude of the judges to claims for clinical negligence have been well documented. The role of the criminal process in England and Wales has been less fully analysed with the criminal law playing a very limited role until recently in the regulation of poor healthcare practice. In contrast in France, the criminal process has for a long time been invoked more readily to respond to cases of healthcare malpractice, which involved even mere errors.

This book compares English and French criminal law responses to healthcare malpractice and considers what lessons the French model can provide for potential reform in England and elsewhere. The book takes the HIV-contaminated blood episode as a primary example of the different approaches France and England have in dealing with healthcare malpractice. Kazarian emphasizes the impact of rules of substantive criminal law and criminal procedure on the way in which healthcare malpractice is criminalised in a given country.

This book explores the key lessons to be drawn on whether the criminal process is an appropriate means to respond to instances of healthcare malpractice. It proposes that features of French criminal law and criminal procedure might be useful to counteract healthcare malpractice.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction;

Chapter 2: Healthcare Negligence in French and English Criminal Law;

Chapter 3: Criminal Proceedings for Healthcare Negligence in France and England and Wales;

Chapter 4: Contaminated Blood: A Tale of Two Scandals;

Chapter 5: Is Criminal Law the Answer to Individual Healthcare Negligence?;

Chapter 6: Institutions in the Dock and Alternatives to the Criminal Process;

Chapter 7: Conclusion;

About the Author

Mélinée Kazarian is lecturer in law at the University of Southampton. Mélinée's research interests are in medico-legal, criminal and comparative law issues, in particular the question of the criminalisation of negligence in the common law and civil law traditions. She has published widely on recent medico-legal debates, focusing on a comparative analysis of French and English criminal responses to healthcare scandals. She has been involved in different research projects which aimed to offer a comprehensive analysis of the role of the criminal justice system in regulating healthcare practice and ethics in the UK.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / Criminal Law / General
LAW / Medical Law & Legislation
MEDICAL / Ethics
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology