A critical examination of the health workers' civil and criminal liabilities
This paper set out to examine the subject matter of health and welfare administration and the human resources thereto to achieve the set objectives of health and welfare policies of the Government. It also aimed at examining the behaviour of the professionals in the hospitals, the ethical principles, law guiding their behavior and the consequential effect of the act of negligence or omission or commission of the health professionals in the course of their duties. Primary and secondary sources of data were utilized. The primary data were sourced from the conduct of interview of nurses, doctors and pharmacists respectively. The secondary data were garnered from medical journals, hospital records case law and statutory provisions. The information gathered were descriptively analysed and the study principally revealed over 60% of the health professionals are ignorant of the consequences of their negligence, omission, malafide, and commission during the course of their duties. The study further revealed that, most of the departments where these professionals were trained abinitio do not teach medical ethics, law of medicine and the effects of these principles on the behavior of the health workers. In view of this vital omission in their curriculum, the students who later become health professionals are ill-equipped at least in the area of medical ethics and rudimentary knowledge of law of medicine. The paper therefore recommended that law of medicine and professional medical ethics be included and made compulsory for would be health professionals in the public and private hospitals respectively in Nigeria.
Nigerian Journal of Health and Biomedical Sciences Vol. 7 (1) 2008 pp. 47-58