Medicine, Illegal Practice of

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Medicine, Illegal Practice of


in criminal law, a crime consisting of the practice of medicine as a profession by a person who has not had the appropriate medical education.

In the USSR the law states that only people who have the title of doctor, dentist, doctor’s assistant, pharmacist, or midwife have the right to practice medicine as a profession within the limits of their specialties. (People who have graduated from dental school become practicing dentists.)

Responsibility for the illegal practice of medicine is stipulated by the criminal codes of all the Union republics (for example, the Criminal Code of the RSFSR, Article 221), except the Criminal Code of the Estonian SSR, in which this responsibility is not stipulated. People can be taken to criminal court whether they have practiced medicine illegally for a long time or a short time, as long as they have practiced it frequently and have gained their main or supplementary in-come from such practice. Isolated instances of the illegal practice of medicine do not involve criminal responsibility unless they can be characterized as fraud, according to Article 221 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR. Criminal responsibility for the illegal practice of medicine holds regardless of whether the health of citizens has been harmed; however, according to the criminal codes of the Ukrainian SSR, the Latvian SSR, and the Lithuanian SSR, the guilty are criminally responsible only in cases where there have been harmful consequences to patients (deterioration of health or death).

The illegal practice of medicine is punished by imprisonment for a period of one year or correctional labor for the same period, a fine ranging to 300 rubles, or the application of societal measures of punishment. Cases of the illegal practice of medicine that do not present a major danger to society can be reviewed by comrades’ court.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Full browser ?