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      Medical malpractice cases in Hippocratic collection: a review and today’s perspective

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          Abstract

          Aim: The aim of the present paper is two-fold. First, it reviews the Hippocratic collection to identify instances related to the issue of medical malpractice and medical negligence. Second, it discusses the results viewed from today’s perspective, in the context of contemporary theories of liability in malpractice cases.

          Method: A careful review of the books of Hippocratic collection was performed, as well as a narrative review of the currently available academic literature, focusing on topics of contemporary theories of liability in malpractice cases, which correspond roughly to the medical malpractice instances identified in Hippocratic collection.

          Results: The Hippocratic authors touch on some issues which are essential to the contemporary theory of medical error and negligence, which, however, cannot yet unquestionably address these issues. Among others, they refer to errors that contemporarily might be viewed as technical human errors, errors of omission, or errors which were unavoidable in the context of applied ancient Greek medicine as is the case of injuries that are not based on physician’s fault, or situations where the diagnosis of the particular disease or causal link between the physician’s breach of duty and the damage suffered, was difficult or even impossible. Interestingly, the Hippocratic authors underscore some errors which might not be based on physician’s fault.

          Conclusion: The passages mentioned in this paper, originating from the Hippocratic collection that refer to medical malpractice, imply an awareness of what is currently discussed as medical malpractice. This consideration may carry some weight, in particular when adopting a flexible traditionalist approach to the medical liability rules. HIPPOKRATIA 2019, 23(3): 99-105.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Hippokratia
          Hippokratia
          Hippokratia
          SOCIETY OF "FRIENDS OF HIPPOKRATIA JOURNAL"
          1108-4189
          1790-8019
          Jul-Sep 2019
          : 23
          : 3
          : 99-105
          Affiliations
          [1 ]Medical History Museum, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
          [2 ]Department of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
          Author notes
          Corresponding author: Voultsos Polychronis, Assistant Professor of Medical Law and Ethics, Forensic Medicine & Toxicology, 4 Manolaki Kyriakoy Str, (Rotonda), 54635, Thessaloniki, Greece, tel: +306932727580, +302310201626 voultsop@ 123456otenet.gr
          Article
          PMC7307500 PMC7307500 7307500 111540327
          7307500
          32581494
          Copyright 2019, Hippokratio General Hospital of Thessaloniki
          Categories
          Review Article

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