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Workload pressure would not be a defence against clinical negligence, barrister warns

BMJ 2017; 357 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j2053 (Published 25 April 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;357:j2053
  1. Abi Rimmer
  1. BMJ Careers
  1. arimmer{at}bmj.com

Judges considering gross negligence manslaughter prosecutions against doctors would not view a lack of NHS resources as a defence against clinical negligence, a barrister who specialises in medical law and clinical negligence has said.

At a conference on litigation against doctors at the Royal Society of Medicine last week, James Badenoch QC said that he was often asked whether judges would take into account “the impossible conditions in which some doctors work.”

“The answer, to be relatively frank with you, is no,” he said. “We’ve often had discussions about whether financial …

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