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Causation In Medical Negligence Notes

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This is an extract of our Causation In Medical Negligence document, which we sell as part of our Medical Law and Ethics Notes collection written by the top tier of University Of Oxford students.

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CAUSATION IN MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE OPENING a) Thomson v Bradford - even if C can establish negligence, this isn't enough

TEST a) Barnett v Chelsea & Kensington
- But for test applies
- FACTS: Doctor had turned away a patient with stomach pains, who later died of arsenic poisoning. Doctor had breached duty of care, however, evidence showed that on the balance of probabilities, even if the doctor had seen the patient he would not have been able to save him.

EXCEPTION 1: WHERE IT'S UNCLEAR WHETHER INJURY CAUSED BY D OR SOME OTHER CAUSE a) law in not clear on this, but recent cases seem to suggest that if D materially contributed towards the injury, he's liable b) Wilsher v Essex - HL where there were 5 possible causes of C's injury, Doctor's breach couldn't satisfy causation and thus D wasn't held to be negligent THEN c) Fairchild v Glenhaven HL
- asbestos exposure from a number of employers, all held to liable as all hadmaterially increased the risk of harm to employee, but HL approved Wilsher as otherwise, according to Lord Hoffman, there

would be a 'massive increase in the liability of the NHS' THEN d) Wooton v J Doctor - CA - more recent decision left as open whether Fairchild can apply to medical case THEN e) Bailey v Ministry of Defence CA - Waller LJ said that 'one cannot draw a distinction between medical negligence cases and others' THEN f) Canning-Kishver - CA - material cause was applied here to 2011 case


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