|An Empirical Study of Medical Malpractice Judgments from District Criminal Courts in Taiwan: 2000-2010|
|Medical Malpractice, Legal Empirical Study, Private Prosecution, Conviction Rate|
|Recently, the debate on decriminalization of medical malpractice has received
mounting attentions in both medical and law communities. An increasing number
of studies try to analyze different aspects of the issue for future criminal law revision.
However, the existing literature focuses mainly on theoretical discussion. Of
the limited legal empirical studies, they are mostly limited in study scope and number
of cases analyzed. Due to the limitations in study scope and size, previous findings
may not reflect the true picture of medical malpractice lawsuits in Taiwan over
time. Therefore, we aimed to conduct a population-based study to analyze characteristics,
process, and court decisions of medical malpractice lawsuits in Taiwan.
The “Law Bank” database was used to search all the district criminal court’s
medical malpractice judgments from 21 district courts in Taiwan during the period
of January 1st, 2000 to June 30th, 2010. Exclusion criteria were applied. A total of
277 eligible cases and 380 physician-defendants were included. Contents of each
court judgment were analyzed and description statistical methods were applied. Factors affecting judgment was revealed by chi-square test and logistic regression
In general, medical malpractice lawsuits had a low conviction rate, the punishment
tended to be trivial, and when patient hurt from medical malpractice accidents,
they preferred to use private prosecution procedure.