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Regulating breaches of professional ethics and conducting disciplinary proceedings against physicians in Europe (Chapter 33)

Roksandić Vidlička, Sunčana; Goldner Lang, Iris; Maršavelski, Aleksandar
Regulating breaches of professional ethics and conducting disciplinary proceedings against physicians in Europe (Chapter 33) // European Health Law / A. den Exter (ur.).
Antwerpen: Maklu Publishers, 2017. str. 669-700

Regulating breaches of professional ethics and conducting disciplinary proceedings against physicians in Europe (Chapter 33)

Roksandić Vidlička, Sunčana ; Goldner Lang, Iris ; Maršavelski, Aleksandar

Vrsta, podvrsta i kategorija rada
Poglavlja u knjigama, znanstveni

European Health Law

A. den Exter

Maklu Publishers



Raspon stranica


Ključne riječi
Breaches of professional ethics ; Codes of Medical Ethics and Deontology ; European Court of Human Rights ; EU regulations ; national regulations ; responisiblity of physicians

Breaches of professional ethics, normally regulated in the Codes of Medical Ethics and Deontology by national medical professional associations, can lead to criminal, civil, and disciplinary responsibility. The purpose of Codes is to provide safeguards that medical professionals will follow professional standards and ethical principles by ensuring responsibility for their actions. Subsequently, the quality of rendering the health care and patients’ safety are enhanced. As the economic theory suggests: ‘in the absence of regulation, some health care professionals may provide low-quality services at high-quality prices to uninformed consumers.’ Therefore, adequate regulation and transparency are particularly important for regulating medical profession and conducting disciplinary procedures against medical professionals who breached the ethical and professional codes. Although self- regulation of medical profession exists in most European countries, the medical profession sometimes fails to take appropriate steps to prevent health care ‘scandals’ and, thus, the practice of medicine should be also subject to supervision by external independent institutions (e.g. Ministry of Health, judicial control etc.). On the other hand, the sole external control is difficult to carry out as the main actors within the medical system, i.e. the physicians themselves, are the most competent to evaluate medical performance. Therefore, it is necessary to combine and balance the system of supervision of medical professionals among themselves with the system of external supervision in order to ensure quality of medical performance and prevent adverse events. The establishment of exact structures for the protection of life and health of patients together with the creation of frameworks for redress where failures occur is left to individual states. However, the system should be in accordance with the human rights standards and the mentioned EU law. The final check of the former is done by the ECtHR. On the other hand, the EU law and the Court of Justice, being the competent EU institution entitled for its interpretation, respect EU Member States’ competence to regulate this area on their own. However, the Court of Justice takes the role of checking the compliance of national rules and practices with the functioning of the EU internal market principles. There is no doubt that in the future there will be even more initiatives for harmonization of the disciplinary rules of medical professionals on the Council of Europe and EU level.

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