Disputes between patients or their families and the patient's treating physician are not uncommon. While many of these disputes are resolved by the disputants alone or informally with others, many are resolved through formal adjudication processes of court litigation or through processes of medical regulators. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) options either within the courts or within regulatory bodies are becoming more popular as decision-makers realize the benefits to using these options in appropriate cases. ADR offers both opportunities for advancing our appropriate dealings of these disputes and challenges in terms of ensuring that the public's interests are met. This article examines the public's interests in cases using mediation to resolve disputes about physician's practices from a Canadian perspective. The article concludes with recommendations to protect the public interests and to respect the rights of disputants.
Health law and legislation