NURSING ETHICS, vol.11, no.5, pp.489-499, 2004 (Journal Indexed in SCI)
Medical malpractice has attracted the attention of people and the media all over the world. In Turkey, malpractice cases are tried according to both criminal and civil law. Nurses and midwives in Turkey fulfill important duties in the distribution of health services. The aim of this study was to reveal the legal procedures followed in malpractice allegations and malpractice lawsuits in which nurses and midwives were named as defendants. We reviewed 59 nursing and midwifery lawsuits reported to the Higher Health Council between 1993 and 1998. Health professionals were held liable in 59% of the lawsuits. Midwives had the highest percentage of malpractice liability (52%), followed by physicians (29%) and nurses (19%). To reduce potential liability, nurse education should be improved, a nursing malpractice law should be enacted, and instructions for nursing procedures should be formulated.