Frequency of liability for damages in violation of legal standard of due care in pediatrics as a healthcare profession

Objective: The phenomenology of legal practice records emergence of the entire industry of medical liability lawsuits or litigation on global level. Consequently, there has been an increasing trend of legal proceedings against health care providers. Relevant research shows that the risk of exposure to compensation claims for doctors in paediatrics is higher than in other areas of medicine. Methods: In order to determine whether the aforementioned global trend was also reflected in Croatian legal practice, this research produces a survey of the frequency of final judicial decisions on compensation claims due to medical errors in the period from 2019 to 2023. The research also took into account the strongest correlation factor: malpractice. Methodologically research encompassed case law of domestic courts in the mentioned period recorded in the Ius info database and recorded the number of decisions on medical error and malpractice by year, then narrowing the results down to paediatric cases, i.e. cases where a decision was made on the existence of a paediatrician’s medical error. Results: A total of 54 decisions on the existence or non-existence of a medical error were observed in the relevant period, of which the largest number (31.5%) was recorded in 2021. The total number of decisions on malpractice is half that (N=26), with the highest frequency (27%) recorded in the first year of the observed period. In the entire period of interesr, only one decision refers to a paediat- ric case (N=1). Conclusions: The results of this research show that in Croatia there is no significant increase in the number of compensation claims for damages due to medical errors in paediatrics. In other words, the trend in the Republic of Croatia does not follow the trends of global legal practice in that area. Key words: LEGAL ASPECTS; COURT DECISIONS; CHILDREN; DELIVERY OF HEALTHCARE; PEDIATRICS
Category: Original scientific paper
Volume: Vol. 68, No 1, january-march 2024
Authors: Dominik Vuletić
Reference work: Paediatr Croat 2024;68:31-6

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