Legislation governing medical malpractice in UAE
Health and physical integrity are the most important blessings that Allah has bestowed on the Man, usually when we salute somebody, we start with the first question about his or her health and then initiate talking to him or to her. The value of health is only appreciated by the one who lost it, so it is said that health is a crown on healthy person`s heads that only patients see. As the evolution of medicine, pharmacy and using of modern equipment; practitioners at health section shall possess professionalism and have sufficient technical and qualification to deal with patients and exercising due care to help them. In some cases, practitioners are not as competent as necessary to carry out their duties, and as a result they may commit certain medical malpractices that may sometimes lead to death of a patient or cause permanent incapacity to him or her.
Today, we will discuss this subject through research the following points:
- Medical malpractice definition.
- Medical malpractice in the Emirati legislation.
- What procedures can be performed in case you are experiencing a medical malpractice?
Firstly: definition of medical error:
A medical error is committed by a practitioner as a result of any of the following reasons:
- due to negligence with the technical aspects which each practitioner of the same degree and specialization is assumed to be familiar with.
- failure to follow the recognized professional and medical standards.
- due to negligence or paying insufficient efforts.
- Negligence and failure to take vigilance and caution.
Secondly: medical error in UAE`s legislation:
The UAE`s legislator has combated medical malpractice issue and promulgated the legislation to punish the practitioner who commit medical error, as a direct result for not following professional and medical standards universally acknowledge. Therefore, the legislator promogulated previously the Federal law No.10 of 2008, consequently, promogulated the Medical Liability Law No. 4 of 2016 which whose executive regulation has not yet been issued. In accordance with the article 18 from this law: ” Medical Liability Committee” composed of the physicians specialized in all medical specializations shall be formed. These committees shall exclusively examine complaints submitted to them by the health body, public prosecution or the court, and shall decide on occurrence or non-occurrence of the medical error and its severity, and, in case of multiplicity of responsibility, portion of participation of every participant in such error along with its reason, consequential harms, casual relationship between the error and the harm, and extent of inability in the affected organ, if any. The Committee may make use of the experts and those whom it deems appropriate to perform its tasks.
The article 19 of the aforementioned law stipulates that the complaints on facts related to the medical error shall be lodged or referred to the health body according to the controls set forth in the article 18 the said Committee shall issue a reasoned opinion report for each and every case referred to it based on its examination of the case, the review of the medical file and the facts and information that become known to it as a result of its investigations, deliberations and technical study of the case. The Committee must submit its report to the health body within thirty days from the date of referral. This term may be extended for one or more equal terms with the approval of the health body at the Committee’s request. Article 20 provides that the complainant and defendant practitioner, as the case may be, may challenge report of the Medical Liability Company through a complaint to be lodged to the competent health body within thirty days from the date on which they have been legally notified of the final report in the manner set out in the implementing regulations. The Committee’s report shall be final unless being challenged within the period of thirty days…
In such a case, the competent health authority shall transmit the report and all papers and documents related to the complaint to the Medical liability supreme committee set out in article (21) of this Decree, thus the same shall exclusively examine the complaints to reports of the Medical Liability Committees set out in this Decree, and shall submit a reasoned opinion report for each complaint in accordance with the procedures and rules set out in the abovementioned cabinet’s decision. The Supreme Committee may confirm the report and refuse, amended or cancel the complaints, and its report shall be deemed final. No challenge to the medical reports issued by this Committee shall be accepted by any competent body.
The UAE`s legislator punished whosever transgress the body safety of others, the punishment provided for in article 343 of the Federal Penal Code No. 3 of 1987, which states: Shall be detention for a term not exceeding one year and/ or to a fine not in excess of ten thousands dirham, whoever transgress through his fault the body safety of others. the penalty shall be detention for a term not exceeding two years and/ or a fine, should the crime result in a permanent disability or if the crime is committed, as a result of failure from the offender›s part to observe the ethics of his employment, profession or craft or if the offender is under the influence of intoxication or stupefaction when the incident occurred, or if he abstains from assisting the victim or call for help through able to do so. offender is under the influence of intoxication or stupefaction when the incident occurred, or if he abstains from assisting the victim or call for help through able to do so.
Thirdly: What procedures can be performed in case you are experiencing a medical error?
Whosever finds himself a victim of medial error resulting from negligence of the attending physician may follow these steps:
- Patient shall consult another specialist to ask about the validity of the surgical or therapeutic work that he has undergone, and in the event that the doctor reports the possibility of a medical error, the patient may complain to the health authority and attach all medical reports and treatments received.
- In case that medical error of the practitioner is proved, the patient or his representative is entitled to recourse to the civilian court to claim compensation for physical and moral damages owing to practitioner error. In some cases, the patient may have a symptom of disability Where legal procedures must be taken by his relatives so that they can initiate legal proceedings on behalf of the patient or they end up rejecting their claim for not following the proper law.
Compensation may be requested in accordance with the Emirati law`s articles, article 282 of the civil procedures law stipulates that: any harm done to another shall render the actor, even though not a person of discretion, liable to make good the harm. And the article 292 of the civil procedure law stated that: In all cases the compensation shall be assessed on the basis the amount of harm suffered by the victim, together with loss of profit, provided that that is a natural result of the harmful act.
This was settled by the judiciary of cassation courts, where the judgement rendered by Dubai Court of Cassation in Appeal No. 52\2007 Civil Appeal dated 20-05-2007: every person is entitled to physical integrity and abusing and inflict casualties is considered as a damage that shall to be compensated.
In conclusion, it should be noted that the person who is subject to medical error shall resort to one of the legal professionals in the field of medical errors and compensation to know his or her statutory rights and what ways and procedures he can follow in order to preserve his rights.