Patient Rights Protection in the Czech Republic: Challenges of a Transition From Communism to a Modern Legal System
Medicine and Law: The World Association for Medical Law 2007 March; 26(1): 75-84
The post-Communist countries in Central Europe, including the Czech Republic, underwent a rapid transformation of their legal systems, within which the concept of patient rights passed through revolutionary changes. This process however often left significant gaps in patient rights protection. There are practical difficulties for patients in defending their rights before the courts, such as problems with obtaining evidence and independent expert opinions, long delays and high costs of court proceedings, strict burden of proof rules and low compensation levels. Modern patient rights often collide with the systems of health care provision that are still unprepared for patient autonomy and responsibility. The experience gained in the transition process might be applicable also to other countries that undergo changes from traditional to modern system of patient rights protection.
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