Medical practice in Estonia has undergone extensive legal regulation. The principles of informed consent, professional liability etc. have been introduced into Estonian law only in recent years and with great reluctance on the part of physicians who were accustomed to the concept of a community beneficence ethics that governed soviet medicine. Actually, the rights and obligations of patients are laid down in the Law of Obligations Act 2001 which entered into force on 1 July 2002. The LOA 2001 grants the patient clearly defined rights.