Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10316/27924
Title: Lessons from a decade of technical–scientific opinions in obstetrical litigation
Authors: Domingues, Ana Patrícia 
Moura, Paulo 
Vieira, Duarte Nuno 
Keywords: Obstetric litigation; Medico-legal; Technical–scientific opinions; Defensive medicine
Issue Date: Jul-2014
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: DOMINGUES, Ana Patrícia; MOURA, Paulo; VIEIRA, Duarte Nuno - Lessons from a decade of technical–scientific opinions in obstetrical litigation. "Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine". ISSN 1752-928X. Vol. 25 (2014) p. 91–94
Serial title, monograph or event: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
Volume: 25
Abstract: The authors aimed to assess the Portuguese circumstances concerning situations of medico-legal dispute in Obstetrics, evaluate the conclusions of technical–scientific opinions and analyze their consequences. The analysis of all cases of Obstetrics medical responsibility examined in Medico-legal Council since the creation of the National Institute of Legal Medicine was performed. Technical–scientific opinions of those files were examined according to the existence of a causal link and of infringement of the ‘leges artis’. The most common reasons for dispute in Obstetrics were perinatal asphyxia (50%), traumatic injuries of the newborn (24%), maternal sequelae (19%) and issues related to prenatal diagnosis and/or obstetric ultrasound (5.4%). In the technical–scientific opinions of files examined, the existence of a causal link was established in 17.4%, and the infringement of the ‘leges artis’ was suggested in 15.5% of cases, numbers which have grown significantly over the years and which are particularly relevant in the proceedings of perinatal asphyxia and traumatic lesions of the newborn. In 11% of cases the opinion was inconclusive due to the poor quality of the clinical process sent for analysis. These results highlight the impact that litigation can have on the professional activity and personal lives of obstetricians. It should alert them for the need to better fulfill medical clinical files in order to reduce or avoid medico-legal conflicts, as well as to the fact of the increasing practice of defensive medicine and its consequences in daily clinical routine for doctors and patients.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10316/27924
ISSN: 1752-928X
DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2014.04.012
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:FMUC Medicina - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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