While the French Law of medical malpractice had been mainly based on the Civil Code provisions related to contract law, the Patients Rights' Law of March 4, 2002 set forth general principles regarding the responsibility of health professionals and health institutions which are now in the Code of Public Health. The relatively new Law has modified the legal basis for medical liability, which is now regarded as a “legal regime” that is neither contractual nor tortious. The Patients' Rights Law of March 4, 2002 not only has reaffirmed the principle of fault-based liability in medical malpractice cases, but also allows for the physician's strict liability in specific circumstances, such as nosocomial infections, therapeutic hazards, or defective products. In summary, the Law provides for a new procedure that promotes simple and quick compensation for the benefit of the victims. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

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