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Title: Conceptualising medico-crime in the UK : three case studies of health involving GP offenders
Author: Hesketh, Wendy
ISNI:       0000 0004 2719 2188
Awarding Body: University of Ulster
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2011
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This research suggests a new, discrete area of medical law. It focuses on doctors who commit the most serious offences (murder and sexual assault) against their patients and the inquiries established to investigate how they managed to avoid detection for so long. This work shows that doctors are treated as a special case when it comes to the law, being allowed to do things that the rest of us are not, because doctors are generally regarded as inherently ~~~r1 ~vvu. The concept of medico-crime is introduced by establishing a definition and by demonstrating the factors that characterise an effective medico-crime inquiry. The cases of three GPs are examined: Doctors Clifford Ayling; Harold Shipman and Peter Green, who present as antitheses to the notion of the benevolent doctor ideal. This review is intended as a guideline for future cases. It considers whether the health inquiries, held to examine the failure to detect these doctors' crimes, finally deal with the problem adequately on behalf of the State. The Ayling case exposes the potential for miscarriages of justice involving doctors, because it demonstrates the effect of trawling tactics used by the police in their investigation and the risk of the compensation factor. Other themes covered are the Sexual Offences Act in relation to intimate examinations and the Doctrine of Double Effect. All of the inquiries in this work were instigated by Labour's Health Secretary, Alan Milburn. It is argued that the Blair administration was less concerned with addressing the problem of medico-crime than using inquiries into such cases to introduce a raft of new NHS policies. It suggests that a solution to the problem of medico-crime could be rooted in health consumerism, but that such a solution runs contrary to the resource-control aims of the State.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available