Legal Study on the Criminal Responsibility of Operating Prophylactic Ablative Surgery in Taiwan
Preventive medicine and precision medicine have become mainstream in the world medical field by now. With the establishment of Precision Medicine Initiative and Gene Databases, the relationship between diseases and gene sequences gradually become clearer, making prophylactic ablative surgery one of the emerging medical options for patients. Although prophylactic ablative surgery has been practiced in Taiwan for decades, the prophylactic ablative surgery which eradicates healthy organs that have high risks of diseases by using genetic or other predictive measures are not generally accepted by the medical professions and the Ministry of Health and Welfare. In addition, it also raises controversial legal issues especially in criminal law offenses of causing bodily harm. In the context of encouraging research and development in emerging medical technology and protecting the patients’ right to choose the latest medical options at liberty, this article intends to classify the prophylactic ablative surgery, and then take the medical custom as the standard of physician’s duty of care to analysis on the criminal responsibility of operating a prophylactic ablative surgery in Taiwan. Hoping this legal practice analysis will be able to provide a guideline for relevant clinical cases or medical disputes which may happen in Taiwan in the future.