Appeal Court overturns first case based on ruling that patients have right to information on treatment options

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: (Published 23 February 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:j992
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. The BMJ

A pregnant woman was entitled to be told about research indicating that there were risks to her fetus in delaying labour, the Court of Appeal has ruled in an important judgment on patients’ right to information.1

The three Appeal Court judges held that Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was liable for the serious brain damage suffered by Sebastian Webster as a result of his late delivery 14 years ago, reversing a High Court judgment in favour of the trust.

The case is the first in which the Appeal Court has overturned a High Court judgment based on the UK Supreme Court’s decision in March 2015 that signalled that the age of medical paternalism was over. In the …

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