Elements for determining medical negligence

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UAE law no. 10 of 2008 defines medical negligence as an ‘error caused by the lack of knowledge of technical matters when such knowledge is presumptive to exist in all those who practise the profession and that such error is due to negligence or substandard conduct [care]’.

This definition strives to maintain a balance between the protecting patients from the negligence of doctors and providing doctors with the freedom to practice without constant fear of medical malpractice suits which can be damaging to a doctor’s reputation, if not career-ending.

As set out in the below Dubai Court of Cassation Judgment, this balance is also reflected in the finding that a Doctor’s medical responsibility is not to achieve a result, but rather to adhere to a professional standard of care towards a patient…

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