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No-fault compensation for medical accidents

Norrie, Kenneth and Hendry, Robert (2011) No-fault compensation for medical accidents. Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, 41 (4). pp. 290-291. ISSN 1478-2715

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Abstract

A discussion of the work of the Scottish Government's No Fault Compensation Group.Medical practice, like any other human activity, sometimes leads to accidents, or unusual complications, or unexpected results. Usually no one is to blame; sometimes someone is at fault. If the patient has been harmed, and the doctor’s act (or failure to act) amounts to what the law calls ‘negligence’, then the patient may seek monetary compensation for the injury they have suffered. Yet any patient who emerges from medical treatment with an injury he or she did not have before the treatment needs care for that injury, whether or not the doctor was negligent, or the negligence caused the injury, or the patient can prove negligence and causation to a sufficient legal standard. The current system of compensation provides high levels of compensation for some patients injured in the course of medical treatment, and no compensation at all for most.