Medical Errors - Definition - Physician

Medical Errors – Definition – Physician Liability and Punishment – UAE Medical Liability Law What are the medical errors? Mistakes made by health professionals that harm the patient WhatsApp: +971555570005


Medical Errors
Definition, Physician Liability and Punishment – UAE Medical Liability Law



What are the medical errors?


Mistakes made by health professionals that harm the patient. They include errors in diagnosis, errors in dispensing medications, errors in performing surgical procedures, and other medical errors.


Medical errors are distinguished from misconduct in that the former is considered to be honest errors or accidents while the latter is the result of negligence, hateful ignorance or criminal intent.


Medical error is a preventable adverse effect of medical care, whether obvious or harmful to the patient. Problems that usually occur during health care delivery include adverse drug events, improper transport, misdiagnosis, etc.


Doctor’s Responsibility is it a tort or a contractual relationship?


Many laws differ in terms of whether the relationship between the doctor and the patient is a contractual relationship or is the responsibility of tort, and should the doctor puncture care or achieve an end,


Although the prevailing opinion in jurisprudence and the judiciary tends to consider the responsibility of the doctor is contractual , but there are exceptional cases where the responsibility of the doctor subject to the provisions of tort instead of contractual and the most important of these cases:


• The case of medical error reaches the degree of criminal error
• The absence or invalidity of the contract


Therefore, the victim can base his claim in this regard on the basis of error In order to achieve responsibility, the patient must prove the error of the doctor as well as the damage caused by that error and then a causal relationship between the error and damage..


If the conclusion is that the responsibility of the doctor in some cases is tort and also can be contractual ,, In the UAE, the responsibility of the doctor is mentioned in Article 17 of Federal Law No. 4 of 2016 on medical liability:



the doctor shall not be liable if the damage was caused by the patient’s own act, refusal of treatment or failure to follow the medical instructions issued to him by those responsible for his treatment or as a result of an external cause.



If the medical follow a certain medical method of treatment and contrary to other of the same specialty as long as the method of treatment followed in accordance with the established medical principles


Third:, if there are known or unexpected medical effects and complications in the field of practice that are not caused by medical error.


Penalties for medical errors:


Negligence in the medical profession is a crime that must be punishable by law in order to preserve the lives of patients. Article 343 of the Penal Code of 1987, which states:


(Shall be detention for a term not exceeding one year and Or to a fine not in excess of ten thousands dirham, whoever Transgress through his fault the body safety of orders. The penalty shall be detention for a term not exceeding two years and/ Or a fine, should the crime result in a permanent disability or if The crime is committed, as a result of failure from the offender›s Part to observe the Ethics of his employment, profession or craft or if the offender is under the influence of intoxication or stupefaction when The incident occurred, or if he abstains from assisting the victim Or call for help through able to do so.)


The above article punishes the person who causes harm in the body of another person and who refuses to help and also includes the article professionals include doctors.


However, the aforementioned law of 2016 has set penalties for negligence for doctors more broadly in Article 34.


(A fine not exceeding two hundred thousand dirhams or one of these two shall be punished by imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year The two penalties shall be those who prove to have committed a serious medical error as stated in this decree

The penalty shall be imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years and a fine not exceeding five hundred thousand dirhams If one of these punishments occurs if a serious medical error results in the death of two persons.

The penalty shall be imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years and the fine shall not exceed one million dirhams The crime provided for in the first paragraph of this article under the influence of sugar or anesthesia.)


The UAE law has imposed severe penalties if the doctor acted negligently or negligently responsible towards the patient, in order to reduce medical errors and fight them, but beyond a reasonable doubt, mistakes can be made by doctors. He will not be punished.

To sum up :

Medical errors are an important public health problem and a serious threat to patient safety. Promoting increased awareness of the recurrence of error, its causes and consequences in medicine It is necessary to improve our understanding of the problem and devise practical solutions and preventive strategies. Differences in nomenclature without a globally accepted definition of medical error hinder data collection and collaborative work to improve health care systems. If health care providers and researchers need to improve patient safety, we should all speak the same language.



Mohamed Mahmoud Al Marzooqi law firm

Attorney / Mohamed Al Marzooqi
Mohamed Al Marzooqi advocates & Consultancy
Lawyer in Abu Dhabi, Dubai – UAE


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