Medical Malpractice in Jewish Law: Some Parallels to External Norms and Practices
Steven F. Friedell
Rutgers Law School
Journal of International & Comparative Law, Vol. 6, Spring 2006
This article raises the possibility that the Jewish law of medical malpractice may have been influenced by the medical theories and liability standards of surrounding cultures. After reviewing the role of medicine in the Biblical and Talmudic periods, the article focuses on the medieval sources, and concludes with a review of developments in the twentieth century. The article discusses several parallel developments and suggests that one may be able to gain a better understanding of the medieval Jewish sources by understanding the medical theories and practices of that time, the role of the community physician, and the increased professionalization of medicine. The twentieth-century sources may indicate a desire to achieve results that parallel those of secular courts. Although the sources do not address the issue of external influence, they suggest that it is possible that external norms and practices may have played a role, if only indirectly, by shaping people's expectations.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 24
Keywords: medical malpractice, Jewish Law, Comparative Law
JEL Classification: k13
Date posted: July 20, 2006
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