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Law on gross negligence manslaughter is flawed, says leading medical lawyer

BMJ 2018; 363 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k4412 (Published 18 October 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k4412
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. The BMJ

The law on gross negligence manslaughter (GNM) is flawed because, unlike other areas of law, it asks a jury to decide what is or is not a criminal offence, the leading medical lawyer Robert Francis told members of parliament.

Francis, who chaired the inquiry into poor care at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, was giving evidence to the Commons Health and Social Care Committee, which is looking at the law on GNM in the wake of the case of the trainee paediatrician Hadiza Bawa-Garba.

She was convicted of manslaughter after the death of six year old Jack Adcock from sepsis. A medical practitioners’ tribunal suspended her from the medical register for 12 months, but the General Medical Council appealed to the …

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