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Murder Notes

BCL Law Notes > Medical Law and Ethics Notes

This is an extract of our Murder 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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MURDER AND SUICIDE

WHAT'S NEEDED FOR A CONVICTION?

1. Doctor can be convicted for murder where jury persuaded beyond all reasonable doubt that doctor: a) caused patient's death (or was a substantial cause R v Cheshire); b) intended to cause death or GBH; and c) has no defence

2. Adams - Devlon J said if doctor only shortens life by weeks/months it's treated the same as if shortened by years

MANSLAUGHTER

1. where health care professional acts in an extremely negligent way

DEFENCES

1. DIMINISHED RESPONSIBILITY a) normally where someone caring for terminally ill suffers from exhaustion and stress b) only a partial defence = still manslaughter

2. LOSS OF CONTROL

3. SUICIDE PACT

4. SELF-DEFENCE a) Re A - conjoined twins case

MERCY KILLING

1. Very rare brought to court, only where CPS believes it's in the public interest

2. Home Office Stats for 1982-1991 inclusive reveal only 24 cases brought with only 1 resulting in a murder conviction - 16 got manslaughter but 3 went to prison

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