Intended for healthcare professionals

News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

Courts too deferential to doctors, says judge

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 20 January 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:129
  1. Clare Dyer, legal correspondent
  1. BMJ

    The English courts were “excessively deferential” to doctors in the past in their reluctance to find them guilty of negligence, England's top judge said this week. Lord Woolf, the Lord Chief Justice, said that judges were now less willing to allow the medical profession to determine what amounted to negligent practice.

    The change happened after it became clear to the courts that the hospitals and the medical professions could not be relied on to resolve justified complaints justly, he added.

    Medical negligence litigation was “a disaster area,” in which the courts grew increasingly conscious of the …

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