The relationship between physician and patient has undergone profound changes in recent years. Patients increasingly insist on being thoroughly informed with detailed information about treatments and procedures suggested for their best care. This is also due to the growing suspicion towards doctors and the health-care system in general. Therefore, it is no longer possible to hide a medical error. To satisfy the request for honesty and safety of patients and society, it is necessary to enhance the skills and tools that physicians can use when disclosing and explaining an error to the patient. All modern codes of medical conduct acknowledge the importance of strengthening communication between physician and patient, which is the only way to save a relationship under constant threat of rupture and to improve the quality and safety of the treatment. The disclosure and explanation of the error has become not only an ethical duty but also a prudent way of avoiding negligence lawsuits. In this context, in 2013, Germany approved a law known as Patientenrechtegesetz, which we consider a good compromise between patient expectations and the need for doctors to work without the constant fear of being sued for malpractice. This work seeks to provide an overview of the most important issues pertaining to disclosure of medical error and of practice in other countries, with the aim of offering a contribution to the debate on this subject in Italy.

Policies and practice in the disclosure of medical error: Insights from leading countries to address the issue in Italy

Baffoni, Giacomo;Raniero, Dario;Turrina, Stefania;De Leo, Domenico
2021

Abstract

The relationship between physician and patient has undergone profound changes in recent years. Patients increasingly insist on being thoroughly informed with detailed information about treatments and procedures suggested for their best care. This is also due to the growing suspicion towards doctors and the health-care system in general. Therefore, it is no longer possible to hide a medical error. To satisfy the request for honesty and safety of patients and society, it is necessary to enhance the skills and tools that physicians can use when disclosing and explaining an error to the patient. All modern codes of medical conduct acknowledge the importance of strengthening communication between physician and patient, which is the only way to save a relationship under constant threat of rupture and to improve the quality and safety of the treatment. The disclosure and explanation of the error has become not only an ethical duty but also a prudent way of avoiding negligence lawsuits. In this context, in 2013, Germany approved a law known as Patientenrechtegesetz, which we consider a good compromise between patient expectations and the need for doctors to work without the constant fear of being sued for malpractice. This work seeks to provide an overview of the most important issues pertaining to disclosure of medical error and of practice in other countries, with the aim of offering a contribution to the debate on this subject in Italy.
Apology
disclosure
medical error
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1037026
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