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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 24(5); 2013 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2013;24(5): 473-483.
Criminal Responsibility in Emergency Care
Chul Ho Park, Yang Weon Kim, Deuk Hyun Park, Junho Cho, Kyung Hye Park, In Ho Kwon, Ha Young Park, Woon Hyung Yeo, Yoo Sang Yoon
Department of Emergency Medicine, Inje University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea. 101mars@hanmail.net
When a criminal act occurs during emergency care, it becomes fatal to both the patient and doctor. Criminal acts during emergency care and judged by the Supreme Court of Korea were analyzed and investigated to decrease and prevent medical malpractice.
After assessing the Medical Act in Korea and Act on Emergency Care in Korea, a pattern of emergency care was categorized and applicable provisions were analyzed. Emergency medical malpractice cases were collected from previous reports and an internet site managed by the Supreme Court of Korea (http://glaw.scourt.go.kr).
The patterns of emergency care can be categorized into "general emergency care", "interhospital patient transfer", and the "request for medical treatment sent to another department or hospital". Furthermore, inerthospiatl patient transfer can be categorized into "after request for emergency care" and "after medical treatment." There were ten medical malpractice cases in emergency care in which criminal responsibility occurred. There were six cases related to general emergency care and four related to interhospital patient transfer.
Though the emergency care cases in which criminal responsibility occurred were few, the results critically impacted the patient and doctor. Therefore, emergency physicians must do their best to decrease and prevent medical negligence. In addition, a nation has a primary responsibility to save lives and must support emergency care.
Key words: Criminal responsibility, Emergency care
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