Medical Criminal Law

Medical Criminal Law

Lawyer for Medical Criminal Law

Medical criminal law covers criminal offences in the healthcare sector. This primarily affects doctors, pharmacists, hospitals, laboratories, nursing service providers, pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers. Attorney Dr. Elias Schönborn has particular specialisation and many years of experience in this field and can advise and represent you in all matters relating to medical criminal law.
Anwalt für Medizinstrafrecht Dr. Elias Schönborn vertritt Sie in allen Bereichen des Medizinstrafrechts bei strafrechtlichen Risiken im Gesundheitswesen

Typical cases in medical criminal law

Classic case scenarios in medical criminal law include, for example:

  • Medical malpractice by doctors and medical staff
  • Billing fraud against social insurance institutions and other government agencies
  • Unauthorised benefits granted by companies to doctors and pharmacists
  • Corruption in the healthcare sector
  • Breach of trust and Commercial Criminal Law in the healthcare sector
  • Criminal offences against the Medicines Act, the Medical Devices Act, the Physicians Act or the Pharmacies Act
  • Violations of product safety regulations in the healthcare sector
  • Falsification of medical documents, prescriptions and certificates
  • Violation of patients’ rights, such as failure to provide proper information prior to a medical procedure
  • Unlawful practices during and after the coronavirus pandemic (such as illicit receipt of subsidies, falsification of vaccination and test certificates, fraud against public authorities)

Your specialised Attorney in medical criminal law

Advice and representation in medical criminal law requires not only special criminal law expertise, but also an understanding of the medical background and processes in the healthcare sector. Being accused of a criminal offence can result in a considerable loss of reputation for the individuals and companies concerned. In addition, doctors and pharmacists affected must fear not only criminal but also disciplinary consequences, including the loss of their licence.

Dr. Elias Schönborn has many years of defense and advisory experience in medical criminal law and is one of the leading academic authors in this area of law (see, for example, Schönborn, Korruption im Gesundheitswesen, 2019). In the context of Criminal Defense, Dr. Schönborn assists doctors, pharmacists, hospitals, companies and manufacturers active in the healthcare sector, for example. He also offers support in the course of Preventive Advice and Compliance, for example in the area of anti-corruption, in order to avoid criminal law risks.


  • 1. What is medical criminal law?

    The field of medical criminal law encompasses criminal acts that originate in the healthcare sector and in the medical treatment of patients. However, it does not merely cover the conventional criminal law concerns within the medical sector, such as possible treatment misconduct by doctors or the breach of duties to provide information. In addition, medical criminal law also includes specific forms of corruption in the healthcare sector, dealing with special forms of fraud (e.g. medical billing fraud) and other forms of commercial criminal law in the medical sector.
  • 2. I am a doctor/physician and I am accused of a criminal offense. What should I bear in mind with regard to medical criminal law?

    Criminal accusations against doctors can have significant and long-lasting consequences on their careers. In addition to the actual punishment in the criminal proceedings, there is also the threat of a temporary ban on practicing the profession during the preliminary proceedings and, following a conviction, removal from the list of doctors. In such a situation, a legally sound, strategic approach is therefore essential. Ideally, you should contact a lawyer specialising in medical criminal law as soon as you become aware of the allegations. Gather all relevant information, documents and records that can exonerate you with regard to the accusation. In this way, a lawyer specialising in medical criminal law can quickly gain an overview of the situation and take the right steps promptly as part of your criminal defense.
  • 3. How can a lawyer or criminal defense attorney support me in medical criminal law?

    The healthcare sector is a particularly sensitive area, given a large number of regulations that apply to it. The criminal defense of doctors therefore requires criminal law expertise as well as knowledge of the special processes in the healthcare sector and experience in medical law. It is therefore advisable to contact a lawyer who specialises in medical criminal law if you are accused of malpractice or any other criminal offense in connection with a doctor's professional activities. The lawyer will act for you as your criminal defense counsel in medical criminal law and will develop a strategy together with you based on the inspection of the files, submit any necessary motions for evidence, introduce new aspects into the proceedings and point out weaknesses in the accusations. This ensures the optimal protection of your defense interests.
  • 4. What are the risks for pharamaceutical companies and medical device manufactures in medical criminal law?

    There are a large number of regulations, laws and ordinances in the healthcare sector to ensure the safety of medicines and medical devices. At the same time, the state must ensure that medical decisions made by doctors and pharmacists are uninfluenced and objective. It is therefore of central importance for companies in the healthcare sector to be aware of the strict regulations in the healthcare sector and to take appropriate compliance precautions in order to reduce criminal risks as much as possible. In the event of misconduct, in addition to administrative penalties, there is a particular threat of severe legal penalties in the form of association fines in accordance with corporate criminal law.

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