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New UAE Law on Medical Liability

27/9/2016

Federal Law No. 4 for the Year 2016 on Medical Liability has recently been presented by the Ministry of Health and Prevention to medical practitioners.

Federal Law No. 4 for the Year 2016 on Medical Liability has recently been presented by the Ministry of Health and Prevention to medical practitioners. This new law was established after a comparative analysis of the medical liabilities and patient safety laws of the United Kingdom, the United States, the Netherlands, Australia and Canada. It contains 46 articles which set out the duties and prerogatives of medical practitioners and institutions. This new law bans human cloning, abortion, sex change and euthanasia, except at certain conditions. An interesting feature of this law is that it also gives clear definitions. For instance, Article 10 of the new law allows euthanasia only if the heart and breathing of the patient “has completely and terminally stopped or all brain functions have ceased completely and terminally according to accurate medical standards of which a ministerial decree will ensue, and physicians have ruled that the stop is irreversible”.

The sanctions provided by the law are jail sentences ranging from two to ten years and compensation from AED 10,000 to AED 1 million. Implementation of the new legislation will be ensured by a Supreme Medical Liabilities Committee. The new law also obliges health care establishments to subscribe to a medical liability insurance.

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