Professional liability of physicians
Affiliation and adress for correspondence

1 Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
2 The Deputy Screener for Professional Liability, Professor Jan Nielubowicz Regional Chamber of Physicians and Dentists in Warsaw, Poland
3 Social Insurance Company, Warsaw, Poland
4 The Member of the Supreme Medical Court, Professor Jan Nielubowicz Regional Chamber of Physicians and Dentists in Warsaw, Poland
Correspondence to: Barbara Kozakiewicz, Medical University of Warsaw, Żwirki i Wigury 61, 02-091 Warsaw, Poland, e-mail:

Curr. Gynecol. Oncol. 2014, 12 (3), p. 216–224
DOI: 10.15557/CGO.2014.0019

This paper discusses the responsibility of physicians for medical malpractice based on legislative acts. The profession of a physician has been subjected to evaluation since the ancient ages, which contributed to various laws, decrees and norms. It was Hippocrates who included the ethical norms of medical practice in his ethical works. They are well-known today as the Hippocratic Oath which is taken by each physician upon the conclusion of their education. This oath was probably created between 420 and 400 BC and includes ethical, not legal, principles concerning the profession of a physician. Contemporary conduct of physicians is not devoid of negligence, harming and even hurting patients. Therefore, a system of investigation proceedings has appeared – accused physicians are evaluated by physicians-screeners and judged by physicians-judges. This paper presents principles on which the work of screeners for professional liability and judges is based on the territory of the Republic of Poland. Moreover, the entire Hippocratic Oath is quoted. At present, when we are observing such considerable changes in the manners of treatment, in creating new drugs or when comfort of the healthy is forcing physicians to perform euthanasia or abortion, it is worth referring to the ethos of our profession in order to perform our work in accordance with moral principles.

Keywords: Hippocratic Oath, ethics of a physician, medical judgment, professional liability of physicians