Friday, 29 November 2013 11:06

Calls for more disclosure on medical accidents

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A conference on “Patients’ Rights, Access to Justice and the Case for Candour” has heard that patients, doctors and health managers would all benefit from a health system that requires that requires healthcare professionals to disclose medical accidents promptly.

The conference has heard that there is a compelling case for a legal “duty of candour” for victims of medical negligence. The current adversarial approach to medical negligence and complaints prolongs pain and suffering for families, as they are forced to fight the system to win compensation for their injured loved ones. It has been suggested that a more open system whereby healthcare professionals would reveal at the earliest opportunity when a medical accident takes place, would be benefit patients and doctors.

The conference heard from Peter Walsh, chief executive of Action against Medical Accidents. Mr Walsh said “someone who goes into a hospital and through no fault of their own has their health compromised and their quality of life diminished. The current system of ‘defend and deny’ is undermining these individuals”. Patients should be entitled to be told at the earliest opportunity by their doctor if a medical accident occurred and how it happened. Instead of this happening, a defensive adversarial approach is taken by the healthcare professionals which ruins the doctor-patient relationship.

If you or someone you know has suffered a personal injury as a result of a medical procedure, one of our experienced personal injury solicitors would be happy to meet with you and advise you of your options.

*In contentious business a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.

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