Responsibility for Drug - Induced Injury (Second Edition)

A Reference Book for Lawyers, the Health Professions and Manufacturers


Dukes, G.,
Mildred, M.,
Swartz, B.

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Adverse effects of drugs are a constant source of medical problems but also of professional and legal confrontations. More than a quarter of all malpractice suits brought against physicians or other health professionals revolve around drug injury; for drug manufacturers, civil cases brought by patients are a growing problem. Where conflicts do not reach the courts they are often the subject of settlements or of decisions taken by professional disciplinary councils.

Uniquely, this book analyses and documents the responsibilities which all parties bear in law and ethics to render drug treatment as safe as it can be, and the liability which arises when injury is suffered. Special attention is devoted to the apportionment of liability, where faults may have been made by more than one party, and to the establishment of facts in a field where the evidence is likely to be heavily challenged. The approach is global, since drugs, their makers and their users are much the same across the world; what is more, systems of law and ethics have borrowed solutions from one another, while in some parts of the world - notably in consultations between the United States, Europe and Japan, medicinal policies and regulations are fast being harmonized.

Six chapters in the book document the general medical and legal background to drug safety and injury; seven set out the duties and liability of the parties concerned ranging from health professionals through governments and institutions to the patient himself. Eight chapters provide in-depth guidance on special issues including drug injury to the unborn child, vaccines, liability in alternative medicine and existing compensation schemes.