Fields of Law
Medical law comprises all legal norms that are binding for doctors and their professional activity. It is by no means a self-contained legal system – although individual laws and statutes have been enacted for this professional group. Rather, the civil, criminal, social and procedural laws also contain scattered regulations that are specifically directed at doctors. In addition, sound knowledge of tax and company law is indispensable when setting up a practice or even when disposing of a practice. The question of permissible advertising for one’s own range of services is also becoming increasingly important for doctors and hospitals. This is where the regulations of the Professional Law for Doctors, the German Drug Advertising Act (Heilmittelwerbegesetz) and the German Unfair Competition Act (Gesetz gegen den unlauteren Wettbewerb) intertwine.
Ahlers & Vogel covers various areas of the law relevant to medical practitioners. Due to many years of constant representation and counseling of several large hospitals, private hospital operators as well as a large number of physicians in private practice, we dispose of special experience in this field.
In detail, you may find our areas of speciali-sation in the selection on the left-hand side of this page.
Medical liability law is regulated in §§ 630 to 630 h of the German Civil Code (BGB). It is shaped to a large extent by the case law of the higher courts of justice – in proceedings concerning damages for so-called “medical malpractice”. These lawsuits are constantly increasing and produce an abundance of decisions by the German Federal Supreme Court and the higher regional courts. The basis for a competent and successful handling of medical malpractice cases is therefore our comprehensive knowledge of the current state of the law. In addition, our lawyers not only have specialist legal knowledge, but also the ability to familiarize themselves quickly and deeply with complex medical issues and questions.
The professional law of doctors and dentists has changed considerably in recent years. This is due not only to case law (e.g. relaxation of the strict ban on advertising), but also to the promulgation of law and statutes. As a result of the GKV Modernisation Act (GMG), the 107th German Medical Congress considerably modified the model Professional Code of Conduct for Doctors in 2004 – especially with regard to the professional framework conditions of medical practice. Many of these innovations require legal expertise and extensive experience. Ahlers & Vogel offers doctors and dentists both – also concerning all classical questions on professional practice, from the study of medicine, the acquisition and forfeiture of the licence to practise as a doctor, the right to further training to individual professional policies.
The law governing panel doctors (formerly “panel doctor law”) is one of the most difficult areas of law due to the almost unmanageable abundance of reform laws and the multitude of legal norms (laws, ordinances, guidelines). At the same time, it is precisely here that legal certainty is of existential importance for most practising doctors – for example in connection with the acquisition, retention or transfer of a panel doctor’s seat and/or a health care mandate to a practice successor.
An interface between classical medical law and company law is the establishment of so-called professional practice associations (formerly joint practices). According to their legal form, these are organized as companies under civil law or partnership companies. However, due to a multitude of professional and contractual regulations of the professional chambers and associations of panel doctors, the joint practice contracts differ considerably from the conventional (standard) partnership contracts. This requires an advisor who knows every detail. Based on our many years of experience, we will accompany you on the way to setting up your group practice. We also advise you on the legal disbanding of an existing group practice.
In addition to integrated care, the medical care centre (MVZ) is one of the most important structural innovations brought about by the 2004 SHI Modernisation Act (GMG). It is an organisational form of joint professional practice that offers many possibilities.