Medical Negligence Jackpot

Modern Medicine is not without risks.

Practically all interventions or even non-interventions can cause harm. For example, a doctor simply encouraging a patient to drink more water or recommending bed rest can be harmful in certain medical circumstances.

Many medical harms ( side effects and complications) are certainly not due to significant clinical negligence.

But in the small minority where harm is due to clinical negligence ( albeit un-intentional ), getting compensation is not straightforward.

It is a shame that not everyone who suffers medical harm is able to seek compensation.

Patients usually have to prove medical negligence to get compensation and only a small fraction of people do have the time, money and drive to pursue a negligence claim through legal process. It seems like a jack-pot where a few win big amounts while others receive nothing.

A recent hotly debated case about a doctor who did not strongly recommend folic acid to a mother, has re-opened the discussion on no-fault compensation.

Read the articles in the BMJ and respond if you can.

References

S Sundar. “Wrongful conception” case: “Wrongful conception”: the case for no-fault compensation. BMJ 2022; 376 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.o153 (Published 21 January 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;376:o153. Free to access link: http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/bmj.o153?ijkey=tVbj8XpptPFTQES&keytype=ref

Folic acid supplementation and the complexities of blame. BMJ 2022; 376 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.o144 (Published 20 January 2022)Cite this as: BMJ 2022;376:o144

Papanikitas A, Spicer J, Hayhoe B. “Wrongful conception” ruling against UK general practitioner. BMJ2022;376:o79. doi:10.1136/bmj.o79 pmid:35031556. FREE Full TextGoogle Scholar

Dyer C. Show jumper wins case against mother’s GP for “wrongful conception” that resulted in her disability. BMJ2021;375:n2999. doi:10.1136/bmj.n2999. pmid:34862168. FREE Full TextGoogle Scholar

Toombes v Mitchell T. [2021] EWHC 3234. https://1f2ca7mxjow42e65q49871m1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Toombes-v-Mitchell-Approved-Judgment.pdf.

BMJ. What implications does the Toombes vs Mitchell case have for other healthcare professionals?
BMJ 2022; 376 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.o162 (Published 20 January 2022)
Cite this as: BMJ 2022;376:o162

Dollimore L. Spina bifida showjumper wins landmark legal case over her “wrongful conception”: Evie Toombes, 20, who sued her mother’s GP claiming she “should never have been born” could win millions in damages. Daily Mail 2021 Dec 1. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10262911/Para-showjumper-sued-mothers-GP-claiming-never-born-wins-landmark-case.html

Disclaimer: Please note – This blog is NOT medical advice. This blog is NOT a expert medical opinion on various topics. This blog is purely for information only and do check the sources where cited. Please DO consult your own doctor to discuss concerns and options relevant to you. The views expressed in this blog are NOT, in any way whatsoever, intended to be a substitute for professional advice. The blog is NOT previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed, in any way, by any organisation that the author is associated with. The views expressed in this blog likely represents some of the author’s personal views held at the time of drafting the blog and MAY CHANGE overtime, particularly when new evidence comes to light.