This article is the first exploration of the Chinese notion of apology from a comparative legal perspective. By reviewing the significance of apology in the context of Chinese culture, the article presents a three-dimensional structure of apology that, in contrast to the understanding the research community now has, defines acknowledgement of fault, admission of responsibility, and offer of reparation as three essential elements of an apology. It is the combination of these three elements that enables apology to serve as a form of reparation. The article further places the three-dimensional apology in the context of the Chinese concept of ‘the relations of humanity’, arguing that an apology accompanying admission of fault and responsibility may help to restore the harmony of relations and, by so doing, resolve medical disputes positively.
Lin, Nuannuan, The Restorative Role of Apology in Resolving Medical Disputes: Lessons from Chinese Legal Culture (May 1, 2014). Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, December 2015, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 699-708, First online: 20 August 2015. DOI 10.1007/s11673-015-9657-1; Deakin Law School Research Paper No 16-12.