Defensive medicine is a term that refers to the practice of requesting additional diagnostic testing and/or medical treatment by the physician(s) which is not medically essential for the patient (positive defensive medicine) or avoiding the medical treatment of high-risked patients (negative defensive medicine).
The studies since 1970s, particularly the ones carried out in the United States, show that the main reason behind defensive medicine practice tendency is the self-protection instinct of physicians from litigations based on the grounds of medical wrong-doing which is known as ‘malpractice’.
Defensive medicine practices might cause physical damage and economic loss for patients and from there lead to negativities in economy and malfunction in healthcare services. Such disposition, which mostly occurs by demeanours against patient rights and medical ethics as well as legal responsibility bearing actions, has the power to raise the topic of physicians’ judicial and penal liability.
Even though, the comprehension of defensive medicine practice and its acknowledgement in literature is pretty new in our country, the fact stands that the physicians have started to feel the pressure of legal liability since the implementation of law 5237 in Turkish Penal Code. Practice of medicine or evaluation of its application, now requires a different point of view that consists of legal norms and principles, besides medical science.
In the light of these facts, 4th Sectoral Symposium was held at Acibadem University, on February 24th, 2017, by the participation of the experts in their fields; the main point taken into consideration was the obligation of possessing information about laws and regulations besides medical knowledge and capability while practicing medicine.
In the panel, which was chaired by Acibadem University School of Medicine Forensic Medicine Department Director Prof. Dr. Oğuz Polat, Turkish Periantology Society’s Deputy Director Prof. Dr. Murat Yayla covered the topic from clinical point of view and gave examples. MEF University Law School’s Dean Prof. Dr. Havva Karagoz evaluated the examples of positive and negative defensive medicine in practice from legal point of view. Dr. Eyüp Sabri Tezcan of Social Security Administration Health Services Management, talked about the public’s perspective on the topic and the studies made.
Panel closed with the questions from the audience.
· Prof. Dr. Oğuz Polat, Acıbadem University School of Medicine Forensic Science Department Director
· Prof. Dr. Murat Yayla, Turkish Periantology Society Deputy Director
· Prof. Dr. Havva Karagöz, MEF University Law School Dean
· Dr. Eyüp Sabri Tezcan, Social Security Administration Health Services Department Director
Presentations:Prof. Dr. Murat Yayla (Defensive Medicine and Examples from Gynecology)