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Who's the patient?

The recent case of ABC has addressed the question of who clinicians owe a duty to in particular circumstances, write Caron Heyes and Christina Gardiner

5 July 2017

The law around the doctor/patient relationship has seen significant change over the last few years, in particular in the way the courts treat cases concerning issues of confidentiality and the selection of treatment options.

Following Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board [2015] UKSC 11, the patient/doctor relationship, the information patients need to make treatment decisions, and the implications of that approach have most recently been touched on in the groundbreaking decision of the Court of Appeal in ABC v St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust [2017] EWCA Civ 336. This case has brought further understanding of the nature of the relationship that should exist between patients and doctors, and who clinicians owe a duty to.

Individual autonomy

Montgomery established a departure from the well-established principles of Bolam v Friern Ho...

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