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ISSN: 1734-3402
Family Medicine & Primary Care Review
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vol. 22
Review paper

Mediation as an alternative method of conflict resolution: A practical approach

Antoni Benedikt
Robert Susło
Mateusz Paplicki
Jarosław Drobnik

WSB University in Wrocław, Poland
Gerontology Unit, Public Health Department, Faculty of Health Sciences, Wrocław Medical University, Poland
Developmental Age Traumatology and Tmergency Medicine Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Wrocław Medical University, Poland
Family Medicine & Primary Care Review 2020; 22(3): 235–239
Online publish date: 2020/10/16
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Formal conflict resolutions are very familiar from media as legal trials resulting in long prison sentences or large compensation payments inevitably attract attention. In contrast, far more inconspicuous alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods often demonstrate their great practical usefulness as conflicts between parties are not only inevitable, but can also be considered a positive phenomenon because conflict allows an unwanted situation to be changed to the benefit of all parties involved in a transaction. The second ADR thesis is that the parties on their own can resolve many, if not most, of their conflicts, but no ADR method can be effective when the parties have lost trust with each other. Mediation is probably the most popular ADR method in Poland presently as an intervention into negotiations or conflicts that are already underway. A third party, the mediator, who is accepted by all parties and does not possess any power to make an authoritative decision resolving the conflict, performs that intervention – aiding the parties to voluntarily reach a mutually acceptable solution to the conflict. Mediation is an attractive low-cost alternative to court proceedings as the parties remain in full control of the process, it is confidential, lasts short and allows conflicted parties to maintain their long-term relationship. Mediation may also limit the otherwise significant risk associated with the unpredictability of court rulings, especially in highly complicated medical malpractice-related cases. Results from any successful mediation become binding to the parties as courts legally approve the mediation agreement.

conflict, malpractice, medical errors, negotiating, dissent and disputes, jurisprudence

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