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Legal issues related to postoperative pulmonary thromboembolism in Korea
- Legal issues related to postoperative pulmonary thromboembolism in Korea
- Park B.Y.; Kim M.J.; Kang S.R.; Hong S.E.
- Ewha Authors
- 강소라; 김민지; 박보영; 홍승은
- SCOPUS Author ID
- 강소라; 김민지; 박보영; 홍승은
- Issue Date
- Journal Title
- Annals of Surgical Treatment and Research
- vol. 91, no. 6, pp. 316 - 322
- Jurisprudence; Malpractice; Pulmonary embolism; Surgery
- Korean Surgical Society
- SCIE; SCOPUS; KCI
- Purpose: Currently, development of pulmonary thromboembolism (PTE) after surgery is frequently being followed by legal action in Korea, as consequences may be fatal. In the current study, we assessed possible countermeasures that medical teams can take when faced with conflicting opinions on responsibility for PTE. Methods: A retrospective analysis of claims handled by the Supreme Court and subordinate courts, from 1999 to 2015, was performed. We analyzed the type of procedure, associated complications, and critical legal points from the recorded judgments along with any liability limitations on surgeons. Results: After reviewing cases between 1999 and 2015, a total of 18 cases were analyzed. There were no cases in which the surgeon was held accountable between 1999 and 2002. From 2003, there were instances of the surgeon being held account able, with a peak of cases in 2013. Legal standards applied in judicial decision-making related to appropriate use of preventive measures, operation characteristics, doctor's reaction towards symptom occurrence, obligation of postoperative medical care, and duty of explanation. Conclusion: The courts in Korea have changed their position from one of denying doctors' liability to one of enforcing responsibility for PTE. Surgeons are therefore being held responsible with greater frequency, depending on the details of the case. Lessons can be learnt from precedents that can be incorporated into medical education and training programs with the aim of reducing both major PTE complication rates and litigation costs.
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