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Update | Clinical negligence: Wrongful conception, delayed diagnosis of cancer

Jock Mackenzie looks at the effect of recent cases involving ?wrongful conception and a delayed diagnosis of cancer

1 March 2013

In Denise Less and Michael Carter v Sarah Hussain [2012] EWHC 3513 (QB), HHJ Cotter QC had to determine whether a private gynaecologist had breached her duty of care in advising the claimants to proceed with conception in the presence of a known thromboembolic condition and whether any such breach had been responsible for injury, including the stillbirth of the claimants’ subsequent child and consequential psychiatric injury.

It was the claimants’ case that Mrs Hussain (H) had not given proper advice about the risks of pregnancy and that, had such risks been explained, Ms Less (L) would not have fallen pregnant. The judge accepted the argument on breach of duty, and further accepted that H should have had a “failsafe” mechanism to ensure that L attended a second appointment. However, on all the evidence, the judge concluded on factual causation that, even if proper advice had been given, the claimants ...

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