Intended for healthcare professionals


Health authority loses cervical smear appeal

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 27 November 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:1391
  1. Clare Dyer, legal correspondent
  1. BMJ

    East Kent Health Authority last week lost its appeal against a High Court ruling that three women who developed adenocarcinoma and had to have hysterectomies after results of smears had been treated as negative were victims of medical negligence.

    The Department of Health supported the appeal—estimated to have cost £500000 ($800000) —because of fears that the original judgment, if allowed to stand, could threaten the national cervical screening programme by demanding unattainable standards of accuracy. But the appeal court judges clearly thought this view was unnecessarily alarmist Lord Woolf, master of the rolls, said: “The [health] authority is concerned …

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