Letters Criminalising wilful neglect

Criminalising healthcare professionals is disproportionate and unlikely to work

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g1584 (Published 29 April 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g1584
  1. Christoph Lees, consultant in obstetrics and fetal-maternal medicine1
  1. 1London W14 9QS, UK
  1. christoph.lees{at}btinternet.com

Bibby argues that wilful neglect should be criminalised. But the devil is in the detail, and the caveats “we would need clarity in the interpretation of ‘wilful’ and thorough evaluation of its impact” and “although legislation will hopefully deter rare and extreme cases” underline how shaky the proposition is.1 Uniquely, UK doctors are subject to multiple jeopardies: civil legal action, …

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