About | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline

3 Eur. J. Health L. 173 (1996)
Medical Malpractice - The Legal Situation in Norway

handle is hein.journals/eurjhlb3 and id is 183 raw text is: European Journal of Health Law 3: 173-177, 1996.                 173
© 1996 Kluwer Law International. Printed in the Netherlands.
Medical Malpractice - the Legal Situation in Norway
Assistant Deputy Director General, Directorate of Health, Oslo, Norway
During the last years there has been a considerable increase in cases regarding
medical malpractice in Norway. This has accentuated the question of what
possibilities patients have to make doctors legally responsible when they
commit medical malpractice. Furthermore the question arises whether the
increase in number of cases imply that the standard of medical practice in
Norway has declined or if there may be other explanations. These questions
will be the objective of this article.
Some surveys have been carried out on this subject from different points
of view, but no systematic, comprehensive research on these questions has
been done. Accordingly I will present some tendencies based on statistics, the
mentioned surveys and my experience as the head of division in the
Department of Medical Law in the Norwegian Board of Health.
However, first it is necessary to define the term medical malpractice. I will
follow a wide definition of the term as injuries or insults suffered because of
negligence. It does not have to be 'bad' practice. It refers simply to a physician
not having lived up to the customary professional standard set through the
practice of the 'average competent' physician in the same or similar
In most situations making someone legally responsible is not the best way
to solve conflicts. But there may be situations where the patient regards legal
procedure as the only way to obtain justice. What possibilities do the
Norwegian patients have in this situation?
1. Compensation
In Norway, as a general rule, compensation for errors in medical treatment is
paid through a special scheme known as the Norwegian System of
Compensation for Injuries to Patients. The scheme covers only physical

What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing thousands of academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.

Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline.

Contact us for annual subscription options:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?

profiles profiles most