Author(s): Nila Kasuma, Armasastra Bahar, Hilaire Tegnan
Background: In carrying out their professional duties, doctors and dentists are bound by not only medical discipline norms but also and more importantly by ethical and legal norms in Indonesia. The enforcement of these norms has led to the imposition of disciplinary and ethical sanctions on many physicians by the Indonesian Honorary Council of Medical Discipline or MKDKI and the Indonesian Honorary Council of Medical Ethics or MKEK. For public safety and the maintenance of a high level of professionalism, the council is authorized by Law no 29/2004 to investigate and determine medical and dental disciplinary and ethical sanctions. Objectives: This study aims at discussing the laws and policies of ethical and disciplinary sentence for physician felony offenders. It seeks to address the issue as to how physicians are held accountable for their breach of the public’s trust. Method: This study relies on the case study method, looking at two professions in depth i.e., Medicine and Dentistry. 287 cases of medical malpractice presented to both MKDKI and MKEK from 2015 to 2017 were examined. The research process included a review of cases while relevant laws and regulations and other data where recorded. Descriptive statistical analysis, cross-tabs analysis, ANOVA and logistic regression analysis was applied to reveal information relevant to the research. Findings: The study reveals that sentencing disparity and the Indonesian Medical Council Regulation No. 32/2015 weaken the position of both MKDKI and MKEK as regulators of medical and dental professions in Indonesia. The study also reveals that when both councils choose to exercise their disciplinary discretion, they often focus on character-related misconduct, including criminal misconduct that bears only a tangential relation to clinical quality and patient care. Conclusion: Despite the existence of laws and disciplinary sanctions, the issue of medical malpractice continues to jeopardize medical and dental professions.