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On the issue of criminal liability for iatrogenic harm amid the COVID-19 pandemic


Iatrogenic crimes have been underinvestigated in domestic science, however, a significant number of foreign studies are devoted to the issue of criminal liability of medical workers for iatrogenic harm. We analyze the work of many scientists, including those from Australia, India and Italy. Foreign theory is increasingly adhering to the idea of mitigating the criminal liability of medical workers for medical errors. We conclude that the general basis for bringing a doctor to criminal responsibility in foreign countries is a gross violation of generally accepted medical care standards. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic plays an important role in rethinking the domestic approach to understanding the responsibility for iatrogenesis and the need for its differentiation. In an environment where doctors every day receive new instructions on appropriate therapy, and the search for ways to treat a new coronavirus infection is still associated with many errors, the qualification of an iatrogenic crime must take into account the special circumstances that reduce the social danger of the crime. In conclusion, we talk about the prospect of using foreign practice to mitigate criminal liability for iatrogenesis as a guideline for the formation of new privileged features of the offenses associated with causing iatrogenic harm in domestic criminal law.


iatrogenesis; iatrogenic harm; criminal liability

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Substantive law

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