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Nigerian Journal of Medicine

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Arbitrability of medical negligence; the need for urgent action

A.T. Bello

Abstract


Negligence means failure to extend duty of care to whom it is owed. Negligence occurs in all spheres of human life including the medical sphere and that is known as medical negligence. This work was undertaken to examine medical negligence, the elements of medical negligence and its arbitrability and it has through decided cases looked into different jurisdictional stands on medical negligence arbitration and the good and shortcomings of arbitrating medical negligence in such places. The findings of the research reveal that medical negligence is arbitrable and as a matter of fact has been arbitrated in some jurisdictions for over 10 years and that some countries have it embedded in their laws. Furthermore, the article revealed that arbitrability of medical negligence is common in the United States of America, United Kingdom and other jurisdictions. It further stated that arbitration of medical negligence will foster good relationship between the parties and it is less expensive than litigation. The work concluded that it is possible to arbitrate medical negligence and recommended that medical negligence should be arbitrable in all countries, however patients should be allowed time to understand the arbitration agreement and should not be forced into signing the arbitration agreement.

Keywords: Negligence, Medical negligence, Arbitration, Arbitrability




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