From the past to the nowadays: clinical negligence in the history of mankind

The responsibility of doctors for errors and omissions in various historical periods was different and depended on social justice, religious beliefs, moral and ethical standards and the level of development of medical science.

In ancient times healing was equated to the action of supernatural power. There was the absolute responsibility on the healer for the patient’s death. The code of laws of the Babylonian king Hammurabi (1792-1750 BC) indicated various measures of responsibilities the doctors took. For example, when a slaveholder was harmed by the doctor, the healer’s hand was cut off (sometimes a healer was even deprived of life); a failed treatment of a medical servant was obliged to compensate the owner of its value or to give another slave. In Egypt, doctors should have been conducting their business strictly in accordance of the notes and regulations of the Holy Book. If the doctor treated a patient in full accordance with this set of rules, he was free from liability, even in the case of death of the patient.

Rome Law was punishing doctors for blunders. The concept of ‘medical error in Roman law included inexperience, carelessness and lack of medical care. However, Roman law considered the possibility of death of the patient as a result of severe disease. For killing people, selling of poisonous concentrations to poison people, for an abortion and castration doctors were punished in the same way as any other citizens. Differentiation of intent and errors were gradually reflected in the legislation of all the European countries, although the legal responsibility of doctors in different states dared differently.

In ancient Greece, the medical art was appreciated, and the doctor’s credibility was high. Slaveholders and rich merchants received the necessary services from itinerant physicians. The slaves and the poor were actually deprived of medical care. The doctor was freed from the punishment, if the patient died through no fault of the doctor.

Nowadays, despite the fact that the concepts of medical errors and negligence are quite blurred from a legal standpoint, the state of affairs has changed. Yes, the  UK budget spendings on cases associated with clinical negligence account for £780ml. annually, and according to solicitors.guru, a prominent legal startup, running a comprehensive database of medical negligence solicitors, the number of clinical negligence cases is slowly increasing, the draconian measures are not there.

Currently, there are two main error groups:

  1. Medical error – an accident in which a doctor violates the rules of science or medical practices in such circumstances that he could not and should not have foreseen the consequences of his actions. This error could be due to lack of facilities and equipment, the difficult situation in which the acting physician finds himself, and other circumstances, lying outside the doctor’s will.
  2. Negligence error – careless healing, when the doctor did not foresee the dangerous outcome, though, he should have known of harmful effects, as a result of violation of rules or methods of medical science. In this case a doctor could have foreseen the problem, but he thoughtlessly hoped to prevent the consequences of his actions.

Managing a joint bank account

Joint bank accounts are generally believed to provide a convenient tool for organizing shared finance and expenses, especially in the case of rental and mortgage payments. Couples, house companions, and even close business partners accept this money management approach. Needless to say, joint bank accounts imply major risks for all stakeholders, which is why they must be built on exceptional mutual trust.  At some point, you may even need to find a solicitor experienced in a financial law to help you figure out a misunderstanding with the fellow holders.

Joint bank accounts open free access to a single money repository for two or more people who agree to control the same current account. Certain access possibilities are regulated by the joint account mandate: often, not all parties involved possess the same rights and obligations. Most common ones are account money payments and withdrawals, paying bills and writing cheques. All the account holders are granted debit cards and cheque books, as well as regular reports on the account transactions.

Before pooling your finances together with a presumably trustworthy and responsible individual, consider several vital aspects. First of all, inspect the account mandate in every detail and make sure it offers you the protections needed. Be prepared to zero privacy in your spending, as well as additional responsibility for overdrafts, even though you might not be the debt initiator. Most importantly, think about your credit history: as soon as you become a joint account holder, your credit rating is influenced by the other holders’ ratings, which are now co-scored.

Formally, it is pretty easy to open a joint bank account – the procedure is quite standard: the account holders just need to fill out the application form and submit their personal and contact information. The number of holders is unlimited. Also, the account mandate is to be signed by all account holders after clarifying the following points:

  • the possibility of money withdrawals without anyone’s consent
  • overdrafts’ management (as a rule, each holder is responsible for full debt coverage in the worst case scenario)
  • the conditions of financial collaboration dissolution or conflicts’ handling.

By default, individual holders’ credits are not shared with the other holders, since that might lead to major debt responsibilities. As soon as you wish to change the joint account’s terms or completely cancel the agreement on your side, you are free to cancel the mandate without anyone’s permission (mind that this is possible as long as your mandate allows you to act independently, as a rule, it does).

How to deal with disagreements over the joint bank account

Your first action in case of certain problems with the other account holders must be mandate cancellation. The account will get frozen, meaning that nobody will be authorized to withdraw money until certain decisions are made concerning the money split. If you and your account partners cannot reach a fair agreement, the case will proceed to court. Given such an outcome, it is recommended to seek legal assistance from qualified law expert. To find solicitors in Gloucestershire today it is enough to go to the Internet, but use only trusted websites with up-to-date info like on the Solicitors.Guru.

Actually, court decisions on joint bank account cases may vary from one location to another. Thus, courts in England and Wales consider that the account money equally belongs to all holders independently of the statutory or regular payments each makes. It is only if one of the holders does not pay anything at all into the account, then he or she is not allowed to claim for any sums. However, in the case of married couples or civil partners, things are different.

In Scotland, the number of joint bank accounts court trials is the biggest, which can be explained by the assumptions made about equal access rights for all account holders independently of their actual money contributions and relationship statuses.