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Title: Medical liability and the law of negligence
Author: Phillips, Andrew Fulton
ISNI:       0000 0004 2682 6986
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1992
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The first aim of the thesis is to set out and analyse critically the main principles of the (common) law of medical negligence. An overview of the bases of liability and their development is given as a precursor to this. The second aim of the thesis is to put forward the writer's proposals for reform, which, it is submitted, would ameliorate the unsatisfactory aspects of the present approach. The topics selected for consideration are principally the duty and standard of care, causation and the justification for the fault principle, including underlying aims where appropriate. Analysis of these yields the result that the present law is not satisfactory, in that its aims are insufficiently achieved. The most important of the aims which are identified and discussed comprise compensation, deterrence and accountability. Although many suggest that the deterrent aim is now obsolete, the writer argues that it is inconsistent and haphazard in its application to medical negligence. However, as a goal, it should be retained albeit interpreted more broadly than hitherto. Alternative approaches such as no-fault compensation are also discussed. In putting forward his proposals for reform, the writer argues that attempting to meet these underlying aims by the combined mechanism of the action for damages is unsatisfactory, and that they are best met by provision for separate mechanisms in respect of the fundamental avenues of compensation and deterrence/accountability. In essence, social security provides a vehicle for distributing the former (assessment being separate), and the writer's suggested approach of an enhanced, non-adversarial medical audit and reporting systems as a vehicle for the latter.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available