Criminal liability of a military doctor as a public official for the consequences of medical errors
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Katedra Prawa Karnego, Uniwersytet Łódzki, Polska
Submission date: 2023-06-11
Final revision date: 2023-07-09
Acceptance date: 2023-07-10
Publication date: 2023-12-29
Corresponding author
Rafał Kubiak   

Katedra Prawa Karnego, Uniwersytet Łódzki, ul. Kopcińskiego 8/12, 90-033, Łódź, Polska
LW 2023;101(4):293-300
Military doctors, if on active military duty, have the status of a so-called public officialwithin the meaning of the Criminal Code. On the one hand, they are entitled to enhanced criminal-law protection, but on the other hand, they may be liable for official offenses. One of them is the act described in Article 231 of the Penal Code, which consists in exceeding powers or failing to fulfill duties and thus acting to the detriment of public or private interests. The question arises whether, if a military doctor commits a medical error, he can be held liable for this act, or only for crimes against the life or health of the patient (as is the case with civilian doctors). The article shows the judicial practice in this regard, from which it follows that military doctors in leadership positions and committing irregularities in this area and soldier doctors providing medical services are treated differently. It can be deduced from this that only with regard to the former group of military doctors is it permissible to charge them with the offense penalized in Article 231 of the Criminal Code. The article presents arguments justifying such a thesis.
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