What do yo need to know about medical law in Poland? The average person hearing these words first thinks of doctors’ errors. This issue also forms part of the issues that medical law deals with, but there are many more.
It’s not just medical errors
This branch of law is not just about medical professional liability issues. It is also, and perhaps above all, all legal issues related to the health care system. This will include the rules of practicing medicine or nursing, the organisation of the National Health Fund and the reimbursement of services, as well as the legal framework for the operation of health care entities.
The most important Polish medical law acts are:
- Act of 15 April 2011 on medical activity;
- Act of 27 August 2004 on health care services financed from public funds;
- Act of 5 December 1996 on professions of physician and dentist;
- Act of 2 December 2009 on medical chambers;
- Act of 15 July 2011 on professions of nurse and midwife;
These are obviously not all the laws in this field. There are more acts regulating, for example, particular medical professions or the functioning of professional associations.
Whether the patient in question will use private or public healthcare, which profession they will come into contact with, and whether it is a simple blood draw or major surgery, all will be governed by medical law.
In subsequent posts, we will discuss the meaning of each law and its subject matter. In general, medical law is the norms that uphold the health and life of the patient. Sometimes the patient will not be a direct party to these norms, and his or her protection will only be the goal guiding the particular legislation. This will be the case, for example, in pharmaceutical law.
Medical law differs from other branches of law, in particular because of its interdisciplinary nature. It includes provisions from various branches of law. It consists of both civil, administrative and criminal norms. The latter are few in number, in particular relating to the performance of a procedure without the patient’s consent.
The provisions of the medical law have their source in legal acts of all ranks – beginning with the Constitution (art. 30, 38, 39, 40, 41, 47, 53, 65, 68), through a number of laws, regulations issued to them, but also acts of local law. It is also impossible to ignore the importance of international acts, such as the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine.
Additionally, standards enshrined in the codes of ethics of individual professions, such as the Code of Medical Ethics, are important for the functioning of the system.