Obligatory Explanation by Medical Doctors According to Austrian Legislation During the Last 100 Years
Medicine and Law: World Association for Medical Law 2002; 21(1): 43-55
This paper gives a brief survey of Austrian jurisdiction regarding the doctor's duty to inform the patient, revealing that the requirements in respect to the standard of medical information have considerably increased. Most important is the fact that the explanation to the patient is not dealt with in general, but has become a subject of investigation instead. Decisions of the Supreme Court on neglecting explanation have increased in number. The slogan "salus aegroti suprema lex" does not sufficiently explain the legal situation in Austria. The basic principles of German attitude and jurisdiction have obviously been transferred to Austria; numerous parallel passages -- with respect to the wording and the content -- cannot be neglected. The verdicts of the Supreme Court of Justice concerning the manner and degree of explanation are compulsory knowledge for a medical doctor. Therefore the basic principles ofjurisdiction ought to be taught to students according to their current interpretation.
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