Medical Liability: Comparing “Civil Law” and “Common Law”

  • André Gonçalo Dias Pereira
Reference work entry


This chapter analyzes the different approach of civil law and common law systems concerning medical liability, considering the different historic roots and court procedures. It mentions the requisites of liability for medical malpractice and informed consent and portrays the competent courts and practices. In a very broad sense, in order to get compensated, patients around the world have to prove a breach of the standard of care, causation, and damages. Concerning informed consent, the problem of undisclosed risks and liability gives rise to important differences that are briefly analyzed.


Medical Malpractice Liability Rule Medical Liability Administrative Court Legal Family 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Dute J, Faure M, Koziol H, editors. No-fault compensation in the health care sector. Wien/New York: Springer; 2004.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hondius E, editor. The development of medical liability, vol. 3. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2010.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Koch BA, editor. Medical liability in Europe: a comparison of selected jurisdictions. Berlin/Boston: DeGruyter; 2011.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Nys H. Report on medical liability in council of Europe member states, a comparative study of the legal and factual situation in member states of the council of Europe. Strasbourg, 7 March 2005. CDCJ (2005) 3 rev1 [cdcj/docs 2005/cdcj (2005) 3rev1 e].Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    PEL, Barendrecht M, Jansen C, Loos M, Pinna A, Cascao R, van Gulijk S. Principles of European law, service contracts. Munich: Sellier European Law; 2007.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Pereira A. O consentimento informado na relação médico-paciente. Coimbra: Coimbra Editora; 2004.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Pereira A. Country report Portugal. In: Koziol H, Steininger B, editors. European tort law 2007. Wien/New York: Springer; 2008. p. 478.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Pinna A. Le nouveau droit français de l’obligation d’information sur les risques médicaux, lex medicinae: revista portuguesa de direito da saúde. 2004; 83.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Rainer JM. Europäisches privatrecht: die rechtsvergleichung. Frankfirt am Main: Peter Kamp; 2002.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ribot Igualada J. La responsabilidad civil por la falta de consentimiento informado. Revista de Derecho Privado. 2007;35:29–62. Noviembre-Diziembre.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Sage W, Kersh R, editors. Medical malpractice and the U.S. health care system. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2006.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Wecht CH, editor. Preparing and winning medical negligence cases. 3rd ed. New York: Juris; 2009.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Zweigert K, Kötz H. An introduction to comparative law. 3rd ed. Oxford: Clarendon; 1998.Google Scholar

Further Reading

  1. Amaral-Garcia R. Quantifying the economics of medical malpractice: a view from a civil law perspective. Rotterdam: Erasmus Universiteit; 2011.Google Scholar
  2. Cascão R. Prevention and compensation of treatment injury: a roadmap for reform. Den Haag: Boom Juridische uitgevers; 2005.Google Scholar
  3. Cronjé-Retief M. The legal liability of hospitals. The Hague: Kluwer Law International; 2000.Google Scholar
  4. Faure M, Koziol H, editors. Cases on medical malpractice in a comparative perspective. Wien: Springer; 2001.Google Scholar
  5. PEL, von Bar C. Non-contractual liability arising out of damage caused to another. Munich: Sellier European Law; 2009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Rosenthal MM, Sutcliffe KM, editors. Medical error: what do we know? What do we do? San Francisco: Jossey-Bass; 2002.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Biomedical Law, Faculty of LawUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal

Personalised recommendations