Article Title

Medical Malpractice: The Legal Concept of Recompense for Damages Caused by a Physician’s Negligence In Comparative Perspective (USA and Lithuania)


medical malpractice, Lithuania, negligence, comparative law

Document Type



This piece is something of a key to the understanding of medical malpractice. Text is in LITHUANIAN with ENGLISH introduction. One must understand that, in theory, even in Soviet times one could sue for medical malpractice. One didn’t do so, however, as the ‘legal’ theory of the time held that only out of pocket expenses could be recovered, which was problematic in a Soviet occupied country in that medical care, such as it was, was free, and no recovery was possible for pain and suffering. When Lithuania restored its independence they were left trying to figure out what medical malpractice might be. Obviously there were cases of medical malpractice, some execrable, but what was to be done? What are the legal contours? Why are certain instances of treatment considered actionable malpractice, whereas other negative outcomes are ‘mistakes’ but are not actionable? Who is liable – the practitioner or the hospital? If the hospital is government-owned and health care is administered by the government.

To those who have never considered these questions, even the black-letter law governing them might seem contradictory and somewhere near the realm of shamanism.

This situation prompted the writing of this piece. One might think of it as a key to the understanding of medical malpractice.