This paper summarises the development of liability for medical malpractice in the People's Republic of China, beginning with the establishment of a formal system of administrative liability in 1987, its refinement in 2002, and the broadly contemporaneous judicial recognition of a concurrent tortious liability under general civil law. All these developments may be said to have furthered the interests of patients. The incorporation of liability for medical malpractice into the Tort Liability Law of 2009, however, arguably marks a step backwards, subordinating the interests of patients in favor of the interests of the medical community, and further reforms in the same direction may be apprehended in the future. Yangge Dance, a traditional Chinese folk dance, provides an apt simile for this process of development, with its initial move of three steps forward followed by two steps back. The dance is concluded by two sideways steps—first to the right, then to the left—which may be taken to refer to the constant interplay between the two concurrent liability systems—one administrative, the other tortious—which is explored in its various dimensions in the article.
Zhu Wang & Ken Oliphant,
Yangge Dance: The Rhythm of Liability for Medical Malpractice in the People's Republic of China,
Chi.-Kent L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.kentlaw.iit.edu/cklawreview/vol87/iss1/3