Medico-legal News – Autumn 2023

A digest of some interesting cases over the last 12 months:-

  • Withdrawal of Treatment
  • Clinical Negligence
  • Disciplinary
  • Inquests

WITHDRAWAL OF TREATMENT – St George’s NHS Trust v.Casey [2023] EWHC 2244 (Fam)

When asked to declare the death of an adult, and that the withdrawal of medical intervention is lawful, the Court will apply the same principles as those applied by the Court of Appeal in Re M (Death of a Child) [2020] EWCA Civ 164.

CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE – OXR v. Mid and South Essex NHS Trust [2023] EWHC 2006 (KB)

Court finds suggestion that expert ‘had approached the evidence without a truly open mind about what probably happened’ following a change of opinion about likely mechanism of injury.

CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE – Astley (a Minor) v. Lancashire NHS Trust [2023] EWHC 1921 (KB)

Experts’ pre-trial agreed matters left the Court with no real option but to find that the midwife falsified records of foetal heart-rate.

CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE – McCulloch v. Forth Valley Health Board [2023] UKSC 26

A doctor is not negligent in failing to inform a patient of possible alternative treatments if, exercising his or her clinical judgment and supported by a responsible body of medical opinion, they are not considered reasonable alternatives.

DISCIPLINARY – GDC v. Williams [2023] EWCA Civ 481

Court of Appeal confirms that the appellate judge was right to interpret the law contrary to the established view of the dental profession, and to quash findings of dishonesty.

DISCIPLINARY – Adil v. GMC [2023] EWHC 797 (Admin)

Colorectal surgeon loses appeal against suspension for anti-vaccine online videos.

INQUEST – Dove v. Assistant Coroner for Teeside [2023] EWCA Civ 289

In a case of suicide it is open to a Coroner to ‘consider whether there was any factual connection or link between the withdrawal of benefits and the deterioration in… mental health in the period immediately before… death’, and the case ‘bears similarities with Davison ([2022] EWHC 2342), where the fresh evidence raised issues of potentially wider significance and the public interest favours directing a fresh inquest’.

Read more about Magdalen Chambers here.