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Vol 17, No 1 (2022)
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Published online: 2022-02-28

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Physician’s legal liability for making a patient becomes infected with SARS-CoV-2

Kamila Kocańda1, Patrycja Aleksandrowicz2, Dorota Zarębska1
Folia Cardiologica 2022;17(1):68-72.

Abstract

The coronavirus epidemic, lasting from the end of 2019, which quickly gained proportions and the status of a pandemic, has changed the reality in health care for a long time, not only radically testing the endurance of medical personnel and the efficiency of the health system, but also forcing its significant and immediate rearrangement. In the period of the greatest number of infections, in view of disease outbreaks in healthcare facilities, a decision to limit access to health care services both in a timely justified for health reasons (postponement of scheduled admissions) and in a medically optimal form (telephone medical advice) could expose a patient to negative health effects, even though it was epidemiologically justified. The choice between epidemiological risks and patient’s exposure to health consequences due to failure to provide a health care service on time or form was burdening managers of healthcare facilities and their medical personnel. In the light of the above, a decision to provide a health care service as part of hospitalisation was inherently associated with an increased risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection during a hospital stay, which justifies the legal analysis of the possibility of classifying SARS-CoV-2 infection as hospital-acquired infections and all legal consequences related to them.

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