Marc S. Stauch


This paper offers an overview of the rules under German law for securing accountability and redress in cases of medical injury. It is divided into three main parts. Part I looks at the various legal consequences that may apply in such circumstances, including criminal and professional liability of the doctor, the bases for a private law claim by the patient, and the existence of pockets of non-fault based liability for injury from medical products. Part II then considers in greater detail the elements to be satisfied in respect to the two key forms of private law malpractice claim, namely faulty treatment and faulty information disclosure. Also examined is the underlying system of medical liability insurance, as well as the workings of medical arbitration boards that facilitate settlements in appropriate cases. Finally, in Part III, there is an evaluation of the current compensation rules, including their continued viability, in the light of available empirical data. The emergent patient safety movement in Germany is also discussed.