Civil Responsibility of Medical Institutions: Legal Nature of Responsibility

  • Erwin Deutsch
  • Hans-Ludwig Schreiber


According to the prevailing opinion of Soviet legal theory, and in practice, the civil responsibility of medical institutions for damage caused by treatment contrary to regulations is of a non-contractual, i.e. tort, character.30 It is considered that the duty of medical institutions to render medical aid to citizens is based directly on the law. The content of that duty is determined by the character of the special activities performed by medical institutions; these activities are regulated in more details in their statutes. The prevailing view is that relations between a medical institution and the patient regarding his life and health are not regulated by civil law norms; rather, they come into the sphere which is otherwise regulated by civil law norms only if the medical institution completely or partially fails to fulfil its duties towards the patient, thus causing him damage.31 The protection of life and health of citizens by means of civil law is thus effected not directly, but indirectly.


Medical Institution Civil Code Prevailing View Contractual Obligation Prevailing Opinion 
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  1. 30.
    See L.A. Majdanik and N.JU. Sergeeva, Material’naja otvetstvennosť za povreždenie zdorov’ja (Moscow, 1968) pp. 43–46;Google Scholar
  2. 30a.
    A. N. Savickaja, “Graždanskaja otvetstvennost’ sovetskih lečebnyh učreždenij za vred, pričinennyj nepravil’nym lečeniem”, Učenye zapiski L’vovskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta vol. XXXVIII, third edn. (Lvov, 1956) pp. 145–146.Google Scholar
  3. 31.
    See K.B. Jarošenko, in “Sbornik statej Belorusskogo universiteta”, second ed. (Minsk, 1972), p. 247 (quoted according to V. L. Suhoverhij, “Graždanskopravovoe regulirovanie otnošenij po zdravoohraneniju”, Sovetskoe gosudarstvo i pravo, number 6/1975, p. 107.Google Scholar
  4. 32.
    V. L. Suhoverhij, ibid, pp. 106 and 108.Google Scholar
  5. 33.
    Ibid, p. 108.Google Scholar
  6. 33a.
    Suhoverhij states that this is the standpoint of some Polish authors too, such as M. Sosniak, Ciwilna adpowiedzialnose lekarza (Warsaw, 1968);Google Scholar
  7. 33b.
    N. Nesterowicz, Kontractowa i deliktowa adpowiedzialnose lekarza za lecrniexy (Warsaw — Poznan, 1972).Google Scholar
  8. 34.
    L. A. Majdanik and N. JU. Sergeeva, ibid, p. 13.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erwin Deutsch
    • 1
  • Hans-Ludwig Schreiber
    • 1
  1. 1.Forschungsstelle für Arzt- und Arzneimittelrecht des juristischen SeminarsUniversität GöttingenGöttingenWest Germany

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