Towards New Legislative Frameworks for Medical Responsibility in the State of Kuwait: Necessary Reviews, Potential Proposals and Ambitious Hopes
Dr. Mashael Abdel Aziz Al-Hajri
Assistant Professor of Private Law
College of Law – University of Kuwait
This paper examines an integrated draft law regulating both the practice of the profession and the rights of the patient, as well as medical liability as a link between them, and is characterized by a set of characteristics that constitute the foundations of a rigorous study deemed necessary for a proper legislation. From this point of view, the study addresses the “different” perspective of this draft law, both in terms of methodology and content:
In terms of methodology, the study provides a model believed to be suitable for the purpose of follow-up in the preparation of future bills in general – whatever the subject – and it is a perspective based on several mechanisms, most notably the early and real partnerships between the body that prepares the bill and the party that will adopt it and, on the other hand, all addressees, specialists, university professors, consultants, civil society organizations, research centers and the private sector. All these are necessary steps to ensure the quality of the legislative product and to ensure a more effective role.
In this regard, the study presents selected ideas for some of the proposed draft law, including: the importance of controlling the conceptual system of medical practice (especially in its legal and judicial aspects), the development of new institutions to control medical responsibility, to clarify the rights of the patient clearly (for the first time in the history of Kuwaiti medical legislation, perhaps), redefine the idea of medical error (to purify it from the confusion of old jurisprudence and judicial misunderstanding, a confusion that seems to exceed the Kuwaiti scene, to include comparative law in general), and the call for the establishment of a specialized medical district, in addition to many other ideas.
All of the above is based on the quality of health care in the first place. The doctor and the patient are not rivals, but two parties in an integrative relationship, in which they benefit from the improvement of systems, rules, procedures and even structures, which will only be possible through the laws that are supposed to exist as a precondition for the preservation of rights, the production of high quality practices and the assurance of the best results.
Keywords: the doctor, the patient, medical practice, medical profession, rights of the patient.