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Chirurg. 2013 Feb;84(2):143-8. doi: 10.1007/s00104-012-2448-x.

[Diagnostic error and the patient's rights act].

[Article in German]

Author information

  • 1Lehrstuhl für Strafrecht, Strafprozessrecht, Rechtsvergleichung und Medizinrecht, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Universitätsplatz 6, 06108, Halle (Saale), Deutschland. sebastian.mueller@jura.uni-halle.de

Abstract

The question which party bears the burden of proof has significant influence on the result of a medical liability process. The party that bears the burden of proof and cannot provide the proof loses the lawsuit. Particularly important in this context is an omitted medical examination. In the case of such an omitted medical examination the courts may grant reversal of the burden of proof to patients in subsequent medical processes. The civil courts differentiate between a simple mistake or a grave error in treatment and furthermore, the medical examination has to be distinguished from the duty of diagnosis.In the new patients' rights act the burden of proof is established by law. Thereafter in principle the patient must still prove that the doctor made a mistake and that this was the cause of the damage.

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