Intended for healthcare professionals


GP is liable only for costs of harm related to her advice in case of “wrongful birth,” say Supreme Court judges

BMJ 2021; 373 doi: (Published 22 June 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;373:n1609
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. The BMJ

The UK Supreme Court has delivered a landmark judgment spelling out the extent to which a doctor can be held liable for the consequences of giving negligent advice or information to a patient.1

The case was brought by a mother who was wrongly led to believe by a GP that she was not a carrier of the haemophilia gene. She went on to have a child who was born with haemophilia and autism.

The High Court ruled in 2017 that the GP was liable for the costs of caring for a child with both conditions, even though the mother had sought advice only on the likelihood of having a child with haemophilia, and it awarded her £9m (€10.5m; $12.5m) in damages. …

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