The criminalisation of healthcare malpractice has become a highly topical and somewhat controversial question in recent years. Studies have demonstrated that in England and Wales, the trend towards holding healthcare professionals to account for malpractice is rapidly growing, abolishing the deference doctors enjoyed decades ago. The changing attitude of judges to claims for clinical negligence has been well documented. The role of the criminal process in England and Wales has been less fully analysed with the criminal law playing a very limited role until recently in the regulation of poor healthcare practice. In contrast, in France, the criminal process has for a long time been invoked more readily to respond to cases of healthcare malpractice, which involved even mere errors.
This book compares English and French criminal law responses to healthcare malpractice and considers what lessons the French model can provide for potential reform in England and elsewhere. The book takes the HIV-contaminated blood episode as a primary example of the different approaches France and England have in dealing with healthcare malpractice. Kazarian emphasises the impact of rules of substantive criminal law and criminal procedure on the way in which healthcare malpractice is criminalised in a given country.
This book explores the key lessons to be drawn on whether the criminal process is an appropriate means to respond to instances of healthcare malpractice. It proposes that features of French criminal law and criminal procedure might be useful to counteract healthcare malpractice.