State regulation of medical practice was outlined in Rome. The provisions of the Roman law, the boundary between the reckless and deliberate actions of doctors gradually began to be reflected in the criminal laws of the countries of Western Europe. In the Middle Ages period, the Catholic Church has detained the development of medicine and law, the liability for the failure of healing solved, first of all, from the standpoint of violation of theological dogmas. Institute of mistakes over the years is deeply studied by experts in the field of criminal law. Standards of error contained in the criminal law of certain foreign countries, such as Argentina, Spain, Poland, the USA, France and etc.
Differentiation of intent and error are gradually reflected in the laws of all European countries, although the question of their liability was solved differently. In Germany and Austria the responsibility of the doctor for his professional shortcomings is viewed from the perspective of the private relationship between the doctor and the patient. Criminal liability for the mistakes of doctors is almost completely absent, but they face many civil lawsuits. Establishing a causal link between the fault of the doctor and the harm is the plaintiff’s prerogative. If the patient is, to some degree, is capable of finding guilt of unsatisfactory outcome of treatment, the physician’s responsibility is excluded. Current legislation of foreign countries (Austria, Germany, France) punishes only gross medical error because the relationship between doctor and patient is now recognised as private. Foreign legislation contains special provisions on the criminal liability ‘for improper medical treatment and clumsily, awkwardly carried out operation’ (you may want to get more info paragraphs as 856, 857 of the Criminal Code of Austria).
According to Art. 122-3 of the Criminal Code of France criminal liability is not initiated against the person submitting the evidence that the error made could have been avoided or shouldn’t have been manifested, the doctor was conducting his work in accordance with good practices and hence he is not responsible for the error.
In the UK, clinical negligence area is, perhaps, the most complicated against the background of European countries; this way or the other, either administrative or criminal prosecution can be initiated in such cases. The complexity and a higher demand in services result to an increase of the legal niche: according to Solicitors Guru, a large UK legal aggregator where you can find a solicitor, the number of medical negligence solicitors has risen by 12% in comparison with 2013.
A number of rules regarding factual errors are contained in German Criminal Code: the section 16 is called the ‘error in the factual circumstances of the act’. In accordance with paragraph 1 of this section those who has committed offenses not knowing about the circumstances relating to the composition act provided for by the law, he or she acts unintentionally. Punishable for an act committed by negligence, however, remains unchanged. In Art. 14 of the Criminal Code of Bulgaria the following is established: ‘Ignorance of the factual circumstances that relate to the composition of the offense excludes intention with respect to this crime. This provision also applies to acts committed through negligence, unless the very ignorance of factual circumstances does not constitute negligence’. It follows that the error in the analytical aspect is related to the subjective side of the offense and the nature of it is an honest mistake on the face of legal or actual signs of action.