Medical negligence in ancient legal codes
CITATION: Zietsman, J. C. 2007. Medical negligence in ancient legal codes. Akroterion, 52:87-98, doi:10.7445/52-0-55.
The original publication is available at http://akroterion.journals.ac.za
In Roman Law the Lex Aquilia provided a regulation relating to loss or damage. The first chapter specified punishment for the killing of another’s slaves and four-footed animals used in an agricultural community – animals that could collectively be referred to as “livestock”. The third chapter covered all cases of loss caused by burning, breaking or destroying property (usserit, frangerit, rumperit). This article discusses the interpretation of the Lex Aquilia by Roman jurists with special reference to texts dealing with liability in terms of negligent medical treatment in comparison with similar texts from the ancient Mesopotamian legal codes.