THE PRICE OF MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE – SHOULD IT BE JUDGED BY THE CRIMINAL COURT IN THE CONTEXT OF THE JURISPRUDENCE OF THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS?
Keywords:Medical negligence, gross medical negligence, medical error, criminal liability
The article deals with a recently relevant issue – whether a doctor who has made an error or was negligent during his or her professional activity that has resulted in injury or death should be prosecuted, whether this type of liability is not too strict, and whether it is proportionate and adequate to the specificities of the medical profession. From the point of view of criminal justice in Lithuania, this topic has not been investigated at all. The courts hear such criminal cases without any exceptions for doctors. However, in an international level, the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights or investigations in other states suggest that criminal liability is not always a binding legal consequence in such cases. After having analysed and summarised the case-law of the said court, by taking into account the insights of foreign authors, the danger of medical error and ultima ratio principle, the author raises the idea that the current practice in civil medical negligence when doctors are prosecuted for simple negligence should be changed.