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Nigerian Journal of Medicine

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Administrative and legal protection of medical personnel against criminal and tortious negligence

Ademola A. Taiwo, Adekunbi Imosemi, Nzeribe Abangwu

Abstract


Background: Medical personnel are bound toexperience some difficulties in the course of duty and they may end up criminally or civilly liable in the performance of these responsibilities. Across the globe, many medical employees have lost their license to practice their profession after facing disciplinary committees for breach of duties. Some have been sued by patients for negligent treatment. Administratively, the hospital management boards have protected their staff against liabilities by being sued instead of the staff, paying some patients off or write off their hospital bills to compensate them for the liabilities of their medical personnel. Legally, medical personnel are also shielded from medical liabilities as long as they observe a high level of care and skills in the course of duty, otherwise, the law will remove the veil of protection and charge them as liable.

Methodology: In order to achieve the objectives of this research, the doctrinal and qualitative methodology was adopted. The doctrinal approach enables the authors to explore the position of the Nigerian law to examine the liabilities of medical personal in cases of any malpractice whether intentionally or unintentionally. The qualitative approach was used to analyze the administrative protection of medical personnel by the hospital management board.

Conclusion: The study concludes that as long as there is lack of proper supervision of medical personnel by their superior officers, no constant supply of electricity, no improved welfare package for medical personnel, lack of educational sponsorship for career advancement, deliberate observation of advanced professional ethics and honesty on the part of medical personnel, negligence in the course of treatment would not be abated in Nigerian hospitals.

Keywords: Medical Personnel, Negligence, Liabilities, Hospital Management, Law




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