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Christine Margaret Puxon

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 26 June 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1510
  1. Caroline Richmond

Gynaecologist who became a QC and expert on medical negligence

Margaret Puxon was a barrister and Queen’s Counsel who specialised in medical negligence. She usually acted for plaintiffs, and she made major contributions to case law.

In what was probably the first case under the Congenital Disabilities (Civil Liability) Act 1976 she won substantial damages for Sunil Krishnamurthy, profoundly handicapped from negligent management at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

In the 1980s (Scuriaga v Powell) she handled the first case of failed termination of pregnancy. The plaintiff, who was devastatingly crippled from polio in childhood, claimed the cost of raising the child. The defence could have settled the case for a pittance but hoped for a judge who would disapprove of rewarding a claimant for having a baby. Again, Margaret won substantial damages for the plaintiff.

She made case law again in the 1980s when acting for a young married woman who had been sterilised on the advice of her nephrologist. The woman had suffered a kidney infection in her teens and had been told that she was physically unfit for motherhood, would die young, and that vasectomy was not the answer as her husband would probably …

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