Translated Titles

A comparative analysis of the roles and functions of hospital legal departments in Taiwan and the US


梁志鳴(Liang, Chih);劉汗曦(Liu, Han-Hsi Indy)

Key Words

醫療法 ; 醫療糾紛 ; 法律職業 ; 法務部門 ; 法務總顧問 ; 法令遵循 ; 風險管理 ; Healthcare Law ; Medical Malpractice ; Legal Profession ; Legal Department or Office of Legal Counsel ; General Counsel ; Compliance ; Risk Management



Volume or Term/Year and Month of Publication

54期(2018 / 04 / 01)

Page #

99 - 147

Content Language


Chinese Abstract


English Abstract

By conducting a literature review and interviews with health lawyers, health law scholars, and hospital personnel charged with handling legal affairs, this paper provides a preliminary comparative analysis of the role(s) and function(s) of legal departments in both Taiwan and the US. The investigation revealed that both healthcare organizations in Taiwan and the US in their daily function have to address legal issues involving contract law and disputes, labor law and disputes, medical malpractice and risk management, and legal or regulatory compliance. However, unlike US healthcare organizations typically establish the office of General Counsel, Risk Management, and Compliance Officers, healthcare organizations in Taiwan do not have standardized model for handling legal affairs, with many of which lacking legal department altogether and relying heavily on non-legally trained administrative staff to handle these workloads. Even for those with legal department and/or legally trained personnel, the situation in Taiwan and the US differs. Most healthcare organizations in Taiwan do not hire lawyers to serve as legal counsel, but rather prefer to hire newly graduated students with undergraduate law degree to hold those positions. This paper argues that such a difference is a function of local contextual factors such as the legal classifications and economic scale of healthcare organizations, as well as the leadership's imagination of the role and value of legal services. The paper further argues that these local factors neglect the potential: 1) comparative advantage of incorporating legally trained professionals into healthcare organization over relying on outside lawyers, and 2) organizational benefits for more efficient risk management and regulatory compliance. Based on these potential advantages and benefits, this paper suggests that the Taiwanese society should encourage more hospitals to establish the legal department or office of legal counsel to strengthen their capacity to both handle common legal issues and respond to unexpected challenges. This paper also calls for more intentional and comprehensive integration of courses and professional training programs in the field of health law in Taiwan, so as to prepare more legally trained professionals ready to take the challenge of healthcare law practice.

Topic Category 社會科學 > 法律學
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