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Medical Malpractice and Compensation in Global Perspective

This project surveyed liability for medical malpractice and compensation for medical injuries from 14 national or regional perspectives (Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Italy, Japan, Germany, New Zealand, the Nordic countries, Poland, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States). It considered in particular:
  • The overall scheme for regulating medical practice and compensating for medical adverse events and errors, including the relationship between social insurance, regulation and the liability system (including the theoretical availability and actual use of subrogation or reimbursement claims against tortfeasors by social or first-party insurance schemes).
  • The details of the liability system, including criminal, contract and tort and how the difficult causation issues are handled.
  • Available empirical data on medical errors, compensation, litigation rates and outcomes, and insurance costs (social, private first-party, private liability)
  • Attitudes and concerns about the liability and compensation systems.

The published survey of systems from six continents presents a compelling and expansive picture of how legal systems from many different traditions approach the problems created in the context of health care. With a set of comparative conclusions the work aims to draw out emerging themes in this area from around the globe: