The Criminal Liability of the Medical Expert in Albania
Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Tirana
This paper aims to explore the criminal liability of the physician when acting in the capacity of a medical forensic expert. The main criminal offenses attributable to the medical forensic witness are “False expert statement” (“Ekspertimi i rremë”, alb.), pursuant to Art. 309 of the Albanian criminal code (ACC), and “Refusal to witness" (“Mosparaqitja e dëshmitarit, ekspertit apo përkthyesit”, alb.) pursuant to Art. 310 of the ACC. Other criminal offenses which the medical expert is exposed to when engaged in activities that are not related to providing medical care are: “Forgery of a medical document” (Art. 188, §2 of the ACC) and “Illegal organ transplantation” (Art. 89/a of the ACC). This last criminal offense can rise when the physician has performed an autopsy for post-mortem organ/tissue transplantation purposes in violation of the rules. From a criminal procedure perspective, the medical forensic report must comply with certain rules related to both form and content in order to be considered as a valid evidence in a trial. A typical abuse carried by the medical forensic witness is to exceed his/her competences by evaluating the existence of either mens rea or criminal liability of the person undergoing investigation or trial. These issues will be analyzed from a criminal law perspective in the Albanian legal order and will hopefully provide some insight in a fairly unexplored topic.