Medical law is the branch of law which concerns the prerogatives and responsibilities of medical professionals and the rights of the patient. It should not be confused with medical jurisprudence, which is a branch of medicine, rather than a branch of law.
Medical jurisprudence: The branch of the law that deals with the application of law to medicine or, conversely, the application of medical science to legal problems. Medical jurisprudence may be involved in cases concerning genetic relationships (eg, paternity testing) or injury or death resulting from violence. An autopsy may be done to help determine the agent of death (eg, a gun shot, poison) and how long the person has been dead.. Forensic medicine is also important in cases involving rape. Modern techniques use such specimens as semen, blood, and hair to identify the body of a victim and to compare the DNA of the criminal to that of the defendant through DNA fingerprinting.Medical law is the branch of law which concerns the prerogatives and responsibilities of medical professionals and the rights of the patient.
Medicine and Law is an international publication dealing with medico legal issues. It consists of original articles, court decisions, and legislation on:Medical Law, forensic medicine, sexology and law, psychiatry and law, psychology and law, dentistry and law, nursing law, pharmaceutical law, medical ethics, clinical criminology, drugs, alcohol, child abuse, medical experimentation, genetic engineering, organ transplantation, abortion, contraception, sterilization, euthanasia, religion, AIDS, etc.
he physician has a legal and ethical responsibility to provide adequate information to the patient so that he or she is able to process the information and make appropriate decisions.
●No procedure can be undertaken without the patient’s agreement. The patient’s consent must be voluntary and competent.
●In order to meet the requirements for effective, informed decision making, a physician must disclose material facts relevant to decision making, including the patient’s diagnosis, proposed treatment, risks and benefits of the treatment, alternative treatments along with their risks and benefits, and the risks of refusal.
●A physician must answer truthfully, if asked, about the number of similar procedures or cases performed, and disclose success rates. He must disclose, even without inquiry, any financial conflict(s) of interest. (
●The physician must advise patients of all personnel involved in their care and their respective roles, including residents, students, and equipment representatives.
●It is prudent for the physician to inform patients of any reasonably foreseeable additional procedures that may be necessary for a successful outcome.
●The physician can maximize the effectiveness of an informed consent session by communicating in terms patients and their families can understand. Important elements of effective communication include focusing on the patient, using comprehensible language, offering educational material, and using interpreters when necessary.
●Patients may not accurately remember all of the facts disclosed in teaching sessions. Thus, the physician must document the content of informed consent sessions.
●Failure to provide the necessary, relevant information in a way which truly communicates with the patient may constitute ineffective, and therefore nonexistent, consent.