Medical error disclosure and patient safety: legal aspects

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Olivier Guillod(1*)

Abstract

Reducing the number of preventable adverse events has become a public health issue. The paper discusses in which ways the law can contribute to that goal, especially by encouraging a culture of safety among healthcare professionals. It assesses the need or the usefulness to pass so-called disclosure laws and apology laws, to adopt mandatory but strictly confidential Critical Incidents Reporting Systems in hospitals, to change the fault-based system of medical liability or to amend the rules on criminal liability. The paper eventually calls for adding the law to the present agenda of patient safety.

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