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Medical Malpractice Law UAE

Introduction to Medical Malpractice Law UAE

The medical Profession is considered the most trusted Profession throughout the world. The Doctors and other members related to the medical Profession are considered professionals possessing the highest degree of knowledge in the field of Medical Science. Therefore, any mistake, negligence, or breach of law can cause grave harm or damage to the victim and also to the reputation of the professionals associated with this Profession. Thus, to curb the menace of Medical Malpractice, stringent laws are being formulated by the Legislature.

In United Arab Emirates, Medical Malpractice is being regulated by the Federal Decree by Law No. 4 of 2016 Concerning Medical Liability (hereinafter to be referred to as “Medical Malpractice Law UAE“) which imposes punishment and fines in case of making violation of the provisions obligatory upon the medical professionals or other related professionals as set by a Ministerial Resolution. Therefore, to better understand the law regulating the subject of this Article, the relevant provisions are mentioned hereinafter.

What constitutes “Medical Error” in terms of Medical Malpractice Law UAE?

The term “Medical Error” is defined under Article 6 of the Medical Malpractice Law UAE which states that a Medical Error is an Error that the practitioner of the Profession commits due to any of the following reasons:

  • Ignorance of the technical issues that every practitioner of the Profession of the same degree and specialization is supposed to be aware of.
  • Failure to follow the recognized professional and medical standards.
  • Failure to act with necessary due diligence.
  • Negligence and failure to act carefully and without any precaution.

Moreover, Article 5 of the above said law also imposes various obligations upon the practitioners in relation to not performing any medical intervention upon the patient without its consent or providing first aid to an injured person unless the case does not fall within the physician’s specialization. In relation to the same, the practitioners are also prohibited from disclosing any secret information relating to the patient except in some cases provided therein under the law.

What happens if the patient is suffering from a critical health condition and his/her death is caused during the treatment?

The Article 11 of Medical Malpractice Law UAE plays a vital role in the situation wherein the practitioner has not provided cardiopulmonary resuscitation to a dying patient subject to the conditions mentioned below:

  • If the patient suffers from an irremediable medical condition.
  • If all the treatment methods have been tried.
  • If the treatment is proved to be useless in such a medical condition.
  • If the treating doctor advises not to provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation to the patient.
  • At least three consulting doctors should decide that the patient\’s interest requires that natural death is allowed, and that cardiopulmonary resuscitation is not provided. In this case, the consent of the patient, his guardian or custodian is not required.
  • Resuscitation may not be denied if the patient so requests expressly, even if the resuscitation is useless for the treatment.

If the above-mentioned conditions are met, then the practitioner cannot be held liable for not providing cardiopulmonary resuscitation to a patient suffering from a critical condition during the medical treatment.

What are the cases or situations wherein Medical Liability for the Practitioners can be avoided?

The conditions specified under Article 17 of Medical Malpractice Law UAE states that the Medical Liability shall not be established in any of the following cases:

  • If the damage is not a result of any of the reasons set forth in Article (6) of this Decree-Law and its Executive Regulations.
  • If the damage happens as a result of an act committed by the patient himself or due to his refusal to undergo the treatment or not to follow the medical instructions issued by the treating doctors or as a result of an external reason.
  • If the doctor follows a certain medical method in the treatment that is different from the methods followed by the other doctors of the same specialization as far as the followed treatment method conforms to the generally accepted medical standards.
  • If the medical recognized or unexpected effects and complications occur in the field of medical practice and do not result from medical error.

How can an aggrieved party file complaint against Medical Negligence?

The party/parties aggrieved by the act of Medical Malpractice and place their complaints to the Health Authority in consonance with Article 19 of the Medical Malpractice Law UAE, and then the Authority will refer the complaints/matters to the Medical Liability Committee.

The role of the Medical Liability Committee constituted as per Article 18 of the law, is to provide the opinion on every complaint/matter referred to them after conducting investigation and reviewing medical files as well other facts and information available. Thereafter, the Committee, within 30 days from the referral date will issue a report to the Health Authority.

What is the Role of Medical Malpractice Lawyer?

The role of Medical Malpractice Lawyer/Medical Litigation lawyers is very important to defend or to contest the cases before Authority and Supreme Committee. Our lawyers specializing in medical malpractice are ready to assist you in every stage of the proceeding whether it is filing a complaint or preparing a defense.

Our law firm offers the best Medical Malpractice defense lawyer, which possesses highly extensive experience and skills in defending and contesting issues before the Authority and Committee. Therefore, we advise you to opt for the best Medical Malpractice Lawyer to defend or contest the disputes in your favor, as wrong advice or assistance may lead you to cancellation of your license or to bear hefty fines and penalties in terms of the law.

Conclusion

The new Medical Malpractice Law is considered to be a better safeguard for the persons aggrieved by the actions of the practitioners. Therefore, on the other hand, it provides better scope and chances for the practitioners to support their reasons behind any Medical Error with an adequate opportunity of being heard. Thus, in total the new law, i.e., Malpractice Law UAE is balanced and serves equality in the eyes of the law.

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