Accountability after adverse medical events

October 09, 2006

A study by Bismark and colleagues from New Zealand indicates that medically injured patients do not always seek monetary compensation. Unlike Canada's malpractice system, patients in New Zealand who are dissatisfied with the quality of their care may choose between two well-established medicolegal paths: one that leads to monetary compensation (awarded on a "no-fault" basis) and the other to nonmonetary forms of accountability. Bismark and colleagues report that alternative forms of accountability (e.g., explanation of event, apology) may be more efficient and effective than monetary compensation in responding to patient's complaints. In a related commentary, Gray and Beilby of the Canadian Medical Protective Association review the avenues currently available to patients through the Canadian liability system.

p. 889 Accountability sought by patients following adverse events from medical care: the New Zealand experience -- M. Bismark et al

p. 903 Monetary and nonmonetary accountability following adverse medical events: options for Canadian patients -- J. E. Gray, W. Beilby

Canadian Medical Association Journal

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