There's a rather interesting entry on KevinMD today excerpting a historical issue of the the Journal of the American Medical Association. The excerpts describe how physicians were paid in ancient Babylon - and what the penalty was for malpractice:
Ancient penalties for malpractice also varied by social class. If a physician caused the death of a "man" (presumably either upper class or freeman) or destroyed his eye, the physician's fingers were cut off. (See, malpractice policy could be worse.) For the death of a freeman's slave, the physician was required to pay the monetary value of the slave. If it was just the loss of an eye, the penalty was half the slave's price.
The rest is worth reading.
Photo by ahisgett