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Mason and McCall Smith's Law and Medical Ethics

Mason and McCall Smith's Law and Medical Ethics (12th edn)

Anne-Maree Farrell and Edward S. Dove
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date: 26 February 2024

p. 35812. Clinical Negligencelocked

p. 35812. Clinical Negligencelocked

  • A. M. FarrellA. M. FarrellChair of Medical Jurisprudence at the University of Edinburgh
  •  and E. S. DoveE. S. DoveReader in Health Law and Regulation at the University of Edinburgh


This chapter examines the law of clinical negligence. First, the key elements of making a claim in the tort of negligence are outlined. Examples are then drawn from existing case law in clinical negligence, including the use of innovative techniques, complementary medicine, misdiagnosis, the problem of the novice, negligence in treatment and protecting patients from themselves, as well as wrongful conception, birth, and life claims. The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is also briefly considered. Thereafter, an overview is provided of key aspects of criminal negligence, before moving on to examine alternatives to clinical negligence litigation, including recent proposals for reform such as the creation of no-fault schemes for medical injury.

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