The Crime of Abstaining from Medical Work in a Dangerous Situation: A Comparative Study between the Penal Laws of the GCC Countries and the Jordanian Penal Code
Dr. Abdullah Mohammed Ihjeleh
Assistant Professor of Criminal Law
Faculty of Law, Yarmouk University, Jordan
The subject of this study focuses on clarifying the prerequisites for the crime of abstaining from medical work for a person in danger, its elements, its penalties, and the extent to which it is proportional to the seriousness of this crime, considering the provisions of the penal laws of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and the Jordanian Penal Code.
The problem of the study is that the UAE Penal Code did not provide for the crime of abstaining from medical work, and the Kuwaiti Penal Code narrowed the scope of this crime, because it stipulated that the doctor abstaining from medical work received an order from a specialized public employee to aid the patient in danger. This contrasts with the comparative penal laws that do not stipulate this condition. This study relied on the analytical and comparative approach, by comparing the Jordanian Penal Code and the penal laws of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, regarding the crime of abstaining from medical work for a person in danger.
The study reached several results, the most important of which are – the Jordanian, Kuwaiti, Qatari and Bahraini penal codes stipulate the crime of abstaining from medical work, but these laws are, excluding the Qatari law, adopted and despite the seriousness of this crime, adapted a mitigating approach to its punishment.
The study offered several recommendations, the most important of which is – tightening the punishment prescribed for the crime of abstaining from medical work in the Jordanian, Kuwaiti and Bahraini penal codes, with the need to include the texts of these laws, a phrase that gives priority in application to the provisions of private health laws, especially since the majority of health laws punish the crime of abstaining from work. The medical condition is fine only, and the condition required by the Kuwaiti Penal Code for the crime of abstaining from medical work has been deleted, “a condition that the refusal is in violation of an order issued by a competent public official.”
Key words: abstaining doctor, public employee, order to aid the patient in danger, medical ethicsm medical profession law.