Truth, Expert Review of Medical Disputes, and the Future of Medical Malpractice Dispute Resolution: Gearing towards an Early Liability Assessment Scheme
This article suggests that the two-week fast-track medical expert review project recently proposed by the Ministry of Health and Welfare is based on a classical definition of “truth.” That is, truth in medical malpractice disputes only involves the objective causal progression that led to the adverse result, and therefore has very little to do with the responsibility and liability of the medical staff. In practice, however, the “truth” held by the patient and the patient’s family often binds with the idea that the medical professionals who carry out the medical practice are responsible for any unfortunate results. Understanding this line of thought, governments around the world are beginning to promote early liability assessment schemes for alternative dispute resolutions. In response to this trend, this paper argues that if the present schemes of expert review of medical disputes in Taiwan can be readjusted to better assist both parties in finding a common view on liability, this may help to: 1. Satiate the patient and the patient’s family’s need to know the truth (and liability, too), thereby stopping them from believing that the medical staff in question are at fault, even before the case is filed. 2. Although the early assessment result is not legally effective, it can be used as reference or evidence during the follow-up litigation process and thereby reduce the time required for the court to make judgment.