To the History of Legal Liability of Doctors for their Professional Crimes (summary)

© 2012 O.I. Kosukhina

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Key words: forensic medical examination, the Soviet power, put doctors, medical care, legal proceedings, the lawyer, the right

Abstract: The article describes the dynamics of development of forensic expertise for “doctors’ cases” during the years of Soviet rule. The author analyzes the evolution of public believing in medicine and doctors, which occurred under the influence of Soviet ideology. The author demonstrates the evolution path of the forensic medicine from 20ties till 90ties of XX century.

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Nowadays the issue of defects in the delivery of health care is becoming more and more urgent. In this regard the history of the matter and the evolution of the views on the responsibility of medical specialists for professional crimes in the XXth century is of special interest. In 1920ies there has been considerable growth of criminal cases against doctors in comparison with the pre-revolutionary period. The growth of cases connected with the legal liability of doctors may be explained by the fact that the oppressed masses of people after the revolution stopped being afraid of the court, fairly trusting Soviet justice. The newspapers were full of articles that on behalf of the people condemned doctors, who were not respecting the common people. During the 1930ies–1940ies the debates and discussions calmed down. Particular emphasis was placed on the analysis of errors and violations in the field of surgery. During the war and postwar years, only a few studies were published on this theme. In the 1950ies, more articles about medical errors on the materials of the fates-but-medical examinations of responsibility appeared. In 1960ies with some increase in the general level of life and culture, positive changes in medicine caused by the introduction of the new technology has also changed the nature of the defects of modern medical economy. In the 1970ies and 1980ies certain practices of the investigation and forensic medical examination were established and remain to this day.

Finally, in the 1990ies a new rise of interest and tangible changes in the investigation of «medical cases» occurred. They are related to the fundamental changes of political, social and economic life, including the field of public health, introduction of health insurance, development of paid medical services, private medical practice and healing.

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