Surprisingly, Italian legal doctrine and jurisprudence never systematically address the medical error disclosure issue. The topic of medical error communication represents a non-negligible profile of interest, relating to the possible detrimental effects on doctors who accuse themselves of conduct that does not comply with the lex artis. The effects of error disclosure on the effectiveness of insurance guarantees in civil and administrative liability are particularly relevant, as are the implications for ethical liability. Although the burden of reporting an error falls within the wide range of informative duties doctors hold, it still seems far from having found a factual statement in clinical practice, especially in Italy. This applies whether the error has a marginal or significant impact on the patient’s health. The reasons lay in a very contradictory legal framework. Doctors tend with increasing ease not to comply with their information obligation – especially in cases where fulfilling this duty means admitting a personal, professional error – to preserve the integrity of their professional images. This article aims to offer a brief overview of that topic in the context of Italian healthcare.

Medical error disclosure in the Italian healthcare context: A delicate balance between ethical obligations and the principle of non-self-incrimination

Stefania Turrina;Domenico De Leo
2022

Abstract

Surprisingly, Italian legal doctrine and jurisprudence never systematically address the medical error disclosure issue. The topic of medical error communication represents a non-negligible profile of interest, relating to the possible detrimental effects on doctors who accuse themselves of conduct that does not comply with the lex artis. The effects of error disclosure on the effectiveness of insurance guarantees in civil and administrative liability are particularly relevant, as are the implications for ethical liability. Although the burden of reporting an error falls within the wide range of informative duties doctors hold, it still seems far from having found a factual statement in clinical practice, especially in Italy. This applies whether the error has a marginal or significant impact on the patient’s health. The reasons lay in a very contradictory legal framework. Doctors tend with increasing ease not to comply with their information obligation – especially in cases where fulfilling this duty means admitting a personal, professional error – to preserve the integrity of their professional images. This article aims to offer a brief overview of that topic in the context of Italian healthcare.
Error disclosure
Medical error
Medical liability
Patient safety
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1071527
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