Malpractice and Medical Liability

European State of the Art and Guidelines

  • Santo Davide Ferrara
  • Rafael Boscolo-Berto
  • Guido Viel

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxv
  2. Overview

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. S. Davide Ferrara, Guido Viel, Rafael Boscolo-Berto
      Pages 3-10
  3. Historical Background

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 11-11
    2. Maurizio Rippa Bonati, Fabio Zampieri
      Pages 13-49
    3. Ivone Cacciavillani
      Pages 51-66
  4. Legislative and Juridical Background

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 67-67
    2. Paola Frati, Matteo Gulino
      Pages 69-92
    3. S. Davide Ferrara
      Pages 93-107
  5. Major European Countries and/or Areas

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 109-109
    2. María Castellano Arroyo, Ricardo de Ángel Yágüez
      Pages 161-188
    3. Vera Lúcia Raposo, Duarte Nuno Vieira
      Pages 189-207
    4. Pietrantonio Ricci, Francesco Ausania, Paolo Arbarello
      Pages 209-226
    5. Alvydas Pauliukevičius, Marija Caplinskienė, Romas Raudys, Ojars Teteris, Grigorijs Vabel, Marika Väli
      Pages 227-243
  6. Consensus Document: European Guidelines

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 245-245
    2. S. Davide Ferrara, Eric Baccino, Thomas Bajanowski, Rafael Boscolo-Berto, Maria Castellano Arroyo, Ricardo De Angel Yágüez et al.
      Pages 247-275
  7. Final Statements

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 277-277
    2. S. Davide Ferrara, Rafael Boscolo-Berto, Guido Viel
      Pages 279-285
  8. Iconography

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 287-287
    2. S. Davide Ferrara, Guido Viel, Rafael Boscolo-Berto
      Pages 289-349
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 351-368

About this book


Medical responsibility lawsuits have become a fact of life in every physician’s medical practice. However, there is evidence that physicians are increasingly practicing defensive medicine, ordering more tests than may be necessary and avoiding patients with complicated conditions. Modern medical practice is increasingly complicated by factors beyond the traditional realm of patient care, including novel technologies, loss of physician autonomy, and economic pressures. A continuing and significant issue affecting physicians and the healthcare system is malpractice. In the latter half of the 20th century, there was a major change in the attitude of the public towards the medical profession. People were made aware of the huge advances in medical technology, because health problems have increasingly tended to attract media interest and wide publicity. Medicine is a victim of its own success in this respect, and people are now led to expect the latest techniques and a perfect outcome on every occasion. This burst of technology and hyper-specialization in many fields of medicine means that each malpractice claim is transformed into a scientific challenge, requiring specific preparation in the analysis and judgment of the clinical case in question. The role of legal medicine has become increasingly specific in this judicial setting, often giving rise to erroneous interpretations and hasty scientific verdicts, but guidelines on the methodology of ascertainments and criteria of evaluation are lacking all over the world.

The aim of this book is to clarify the steps required for a sequential, in-depth analysis of events and the consequences of medical actions. This can then be used to verify whether, in the presence of damage, health professionals made errors or failed to observe rules of conduct, and which causal values and links to their possible misconduct are involved. 


medical malpractice medical responsibility medical tests

Editors and affiliations

  • Santo Davide Ferrara
    • 1
  • Rafael Boscolo-Berto
    • 2
  • Guido Viel
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Legal Medicine, Dept. of Envionmental MedicineUniversity Hospital of PadovaPadovaItaly
  2. 2., Department of Molecular MedicineUniversity of PadovaPadovaItaly
  3. 3., Department of Molecular MedicineUniversity of PadovaPadovaItaly

Bibliographic information