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Política criminal

On-line version ISSN 0718-3399


MARTINEZ LAZCANO, Marco. La graduación del deber de cuidado en el delito culposo por actos de mala praxis médica: un análisis dogmático, jurisprudencial y económico. Polít. crim. [online]. 2011, vol.6, n.12, pp.214-251. ISSN 0718-3399.

The majority of Chilean doctrine has stated that article 491 of the Penal Code, which sanctions medical malpractice, requires, together with breach of the medical lex artis, a greater duty of care that translates into a standard of mere negligence to satisfy the legal description. Nevertheless, the author proposes that this standard should be interpreted as gross negligence, in order to obtain an adequate response to modern phenomena known as “defensive medicine”, which results in an alteration of collective behavioral structures of subjects participant to the underlying penal conflict. To base this proposal, the article resorts to hermeneutic elements linked to efficient allocation of social resources criteria, and a global analysis of the legal system in light of cardinal principles of fragmentation and last resort. Finally, the need to infer jurisprudential guidelines is presented, to nurture the concept of gross negligence with homogeneous content, referential for an undetermined number of future cases.

Keywords : Medical malpractice; manslaughter; lex artis; gross negligence; defensive medicine; principle of fragmentation; principle of last resort; overdeterrence - overenforcement.

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