Why are brazilian orthodontists prosecuted and convicted? an overview of the contemporary jurisprudence
Orthodontics figures as one of the largest community of specialists in Brazil. Unfortunately, numbers are high not only for the professionals but also for the lawsuits against them. The aim of this study was to screen the Brazilian jurisprudence in order to identify the reasons that motivated patients against orthodontists and motivated Judges towards convictions in lawsuits. The sample consisted of 395 lawsuits retrieved from the State Civil Courts of Brazil (n=27). The lawsuits were founded on conflicts between orthodontists and patients. Case-specific legal information were registered, such as patients’ main reason behind the lawsuit and the decision in second instance. Chi-square and relative risk tests were calculated to investigate the influence of research variables towards conviction. Most of the lawsuits were judged in the State of São Paulo (n=151; 38.2%) and were published between 2011 and 2017 (rho: 0.797). The main reasons behind the lawsuits against orthodontists were the dissatisfaction with treatment outcomes (n=143, 36.2%), the occurrence of periodontal disease (n=45, 11.4%) and the need for tooth extractions (n=43, 10.9%). Statistically significant outcomes were detected between convictions in first and second instances and between convictions and the contractual obligation of result (p<0.001). The combination of I) patients’ dissatisfaction and II) judgments under the obligation of results in second instance figure as the main risk factors for the prosecution and conviction of orthodontists.
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