Prevention of medico-legal conflicts in medical practice

José Guilherme Minossi About the author

Generally, medico-legal conflicts which occur in surgical and medical practice are a source of worry for both the medical profession and the society as a whole, because on one hand, they could cause high emotional stress for doctors, and on the other hand, patients could be rejected. Once consolidated, defensive medicine increases treatment costs and the doctor-patient relationship could transform into a tragedy. There are many causes for this, including non-treatment factors, such as an unsupported and disorganized health system, lack of participation from society and the doctor in improving this system, the training machine which launches a large number of young unprepared doctors to practice in this noble profession, along with a lack of continuing training, as there are few public or private institutions providing preparation, or further medical training. The related treatment factors are generally, a deficient doctor-patient relationship, poor work condition, power abuse by the doctor, a lack of clear agreement, and poor medical record keeping. These conflicts cannot be solved by simple creating legislation, or by denying the existence of medical error, which occurs at higher frequency than the actual conflicts. It is very important to improve the doctor-patient relationship because an effective fraternal relationship reduces the chance of a judicial demand. The doctor still needs to fully understand his/her conduct obligations and mainly to avoid power abuse. Doctors must also professionally link themselves with politicians who fight for the individual's rights against the system. Society must also understand that health is not just an issue exclusive for doctors, and people must fight to improve living conditions. Society must seriously show its frustration with the increasing disparity between scientific possibilities and actual wellbeing. The training machine needs immediate profound changes to produce professionals with the highest qualifications equipped for the needs of our population.

Medical errors; Surgery; Ethics; Medical; Liability legal


Colégio Brasileiro de Cirurgiões Rua Visconde de Silva, 52 - 3º andar, 22271- 090 Rio de Janeiro - RJ, Tel.: +55 21 2138-0659, Fax: (55 21) 2286-2595 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil
E-mail: revista@cbc.org.br