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Medical Error

About Medical Error

A medical error is a preventable adverse effect of care whether or not it is harmful to the patient. Medical errors that lead to a patient’s death can be either due to an error, error in judgment, skill, the standard of care, delay in diagnosis, misdiagnosis, system failure, surgery error, operating on the wrong part of the body, anesthesia error, etc. Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine estimates that medical error is now the third leading cause of death. Approximately 251,454 people die annually from medical errors.

Some forms of medical malpractice are misdiagnosis, late diagnosis, medication errors, surgery errors, anesthesia errors, etc. The patient needs to know when, how, and where to file a complaint. Due to the high incidence of medical malpractice, the new Medical Liability Law of 2016 which has been developed based on the existing Medical Liability Law No. 10 of 2008 has been enacted.

An act or omission (failure to act) by a medical professional that deviates from the accepted medical standard of care is medical negligence. Pursuant to the Federal Law on Medical Liability No. 4 of 2016 (the “2016 Law”). The medical professional is required to take due care and make honest efforts in line with established medical practices.

Not following this procedure, not paying attention to the procedure, or not being careful are medical error. A 2016 federal law says that for criminal medical negligence to be proven, a “gross medical error” shall have occurred. Earlier the term “gross medical error” was not properly defined in this law. Later in 2019, the UAE issued Cabinet Resolution No. 40 by explaining the term “gross medical error” as also explained other gray areas in the law.

Medical Negligence Law in the UAE - Medical Liability

The medical profession has become more money oriented which is why claims of medical negligence have become such a serious problem in today’s age. In earlier civilizations, medical negligence was considered a crime rather than a tort. Early tribal and communal law relied on legal practices and customs to control the various activities of medical professionals. In Yajnavalakya, Smriti 100 Pana is considered as the highest punishment for medical negligence.

Medical negligence occurs after a medical practitioner fails to provide appropriate care and attention and to exercise those skills that a prudent and qualified person would do under similar circumstances. Medical negligence liability leads to civil and criminal liability. In civil proceedings, an aggrieved person can file a civil suit or file a complaint to claim compensation. On the other hand, in criminal proceedings, the victim has to file a criminal case against the doctor before the police.

Punishment for medical error in the UAE

According to the new medical legislation in the UAE, anyone who violates any of the provisions of Articles 1/12 and 14 of this decree shall be punished with imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years, and not less than two years with imprisonment, with a fine of not less than 200,000 dirhams and not more than 500,000 dirhams, or one of these two penalties. Whoever violates any of the provisions of

Articles 12 (2) and 15 of this decree shall be punished by imprisonment of at least six months, which is not less than two years, and a fine of not less than 100,000 dirhams and not more than 200,000 dirhams, or any of these two penalties. Whoever violates any of the provisions of Article 13 of this decree shall be punished by imprisonment for a period of no less than three months, and a fine of no less than 50 thousand dirhams and no more than 100 thousand dirhams, or one of these two penalties.

Medical Error FAQ ?

Article 5 of the executive regulations defines the gross medical error, and it can include:

– An error that causes the death of the patient or the fetus, the removal of an organ by mistake.

– Loss of organ function, exposure of the physician to the influence of alcohol or drugs.

– Severe negligence, such as giving an overdose or leaving medical equipment in a patient’s body

A malpractice attorney can easily guide you through the process. There are three steps a victim shall follow in these types of cases. First, the victim can contact the healthcare authority by filing a complaint. The health authority shall then refer the complaints to the Medical Liability

Committee referred to in the Medical Liability Law, and then the committee shall prepare a justification report for each case. Secondly, the victim can go to a civil court to obtain compensation for the damage or injury the same sustained, and finally the victim can file a criminal complaint against the doctor or the clinic.

If the death was caused by a practitioner’s negligence, the same could be sued for compensation in addition to blood money. Currently, blood money in the UAE is set at 200,000 dirhams. Article 34 of the law states that doctors who commit medical errors or negligence lead to the loss of the patient’s life.

They are sentenced to imprisonment of up to two years and/or a fine of up to 500,000 dirhams and can be extended to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years and a fine of not more than 1 million dirhams if the gross medical error is committed under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

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