Go Responsibility of medical professionals for professional offenses | Forensic Medicine
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Medical Responsibility

Medical workers, who are representatives of the most humane profession, honestly and selflessly perform their honorable duty to the Soviet state and the workers.

However, among the multimillion army of Soviet medical workers there are separate people who violate their professional duty and cause harm to society or the health and lives of people through their illegal actions.

In these cases we are talking about offenses committed by medical professionals. They are understood as violations by medical workers in the performance of their professional duties, legal norms and secondary legislation (orders, instructions and orders of the USSR and Union Republics Ministry of Health) aimed at protecting human health and life.

Article 17 of the Basic Principles of Legislation of the USSR and the Union Republics on Healthcare states that medical workers who have violated their professional duties “bear the disciplinary responsibility established by law if these violations do not entail criminal liability under the law.”

Offenses are unlawful acts (or inaction) that harm socialist society, committed by direct or indirect intent or carelessness.

According to the degree of social harm caused by the offense, they are divided into crimes and offenses.


A crime is a socially dangerous act provided for by the Criminal Code (action or inaction), committed intentionally or carelessly and causing substantial harm to state, public interests or the rights and interests of citizens protected by law.

Since the life and health of citizens is protected by law, therefore, causing significant harm to the life or health of citizens is a crime. Persons who have committed crimes are held criminally liable. Offenses committed by medical workers, although not frequent, however, cause great harm not only to state and public interests, the rights and interests of citizens, but also to the authority and prestige of the entire medical service.

In accordance with the articles of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR (and the Criminal Code of other Union Republics), medical workers who committed crimes in connection with their professional activities can be held criminally liable for crimes against life and health (Articles 106, 114, 116, 128 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR) for crimes against public health (articles 222, 224, 225, 226 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR), for misconduct of crimes (articles 170, 171, 172, 173, 175 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR) and certain economic crimes (article 1562 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR).

Misdemeanors are all other offenses that have caused less significant harm than crime. Misdemeanors entail disciplinary and administrative liability.

Misdemeanors can be of three types: 1) administrative - encroaching on the state or social system, on the established management procedure (for example, violation of sanitary standards, passport regime, military registration rules, procedure for managing an institution, including medical, etc.). For such offenses, administrative penalties are imposed in the form of a fine of up to 50 rubles, correctional labor for up to 2 months, administrative arrest for up to 15 days;
2) disciplinary - unlawful violations of labor discipline. Such misconduct entails disciplinary responsibility in the form of a remark, reprimand, severe reprimand, transfer to lower paid work for a period of up to 3 months, transfer of the case to a public organization or comradely court, dismissal;
3) civil misconduct - failure to fulfill the obligations provided for by the civil code (GC), housing code (LCD), as well as causing harm to the health or property of another person. Responsibility for civil misconduct comes in the form of monetary compensation (for example, for causing harm to the patient due to improper treatment, for material damage to hospital property, etc.).