What’s law got to do with it?: Medical negligence, causation and the use of policy

Carver, Tracey (2014) What’s law got to do with it?: Medical negligence, causation and the use of policy. In Australasian Association of Bioethics and Health Law Conference 2014, 2-4 October 2014, University of Western Australia, Perth, W.A.

View at publisher

Abstract

In a medical negligence context, and under the causation provisions enacted pursuant to Civil Liability Legislation in most Australian jurisdictions, the normative concept of “scope of liability” requires a consideration of whether or not and why a medical practitioner should be responsible for a patient’s harm. As such, it places a limit on the extent to which practitioners are deemed liable for a breach of the duty of care owed by them, in circumstances where a legal factual connection between that breach and the causation of a patient’s harm has already been shown.

It has been said that a determination of causation requires ‘the identification and articulation of an evaluative judgement by reference to “the purposes and policy of the relevant part of the law”’: Wallace v Kam (2013) 297 ALR 383, 388. Accordingly, one of the normative factors falling within scope of liability is an examination of the content and purpose of the rule or duty of care violated – that is, its underlying policy and whether this supports an attribution of legal responsibility upon a practitioner.

In this context, and with reference to recent jurisprudence, this paper considers: the policy relevant to a practitioner’s duty of care in each of the areas of diagnosis, treatment and advice; how this has been used to determine an appropriate scope of liability for the purpose of the causation inquiry in medical negligence claims; and whether such an approach is problematic for medical standards or decision-making.

Impact and interest:

Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

16 since deposited on 12 Nov 2015
8 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 90149
Item Type: Conference Item (Other)
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Medical Negligence, Causation, Scope of Liability, Relevance of the Underlying Duty of Care
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Tort Law (180126)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Health Law Research
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 The Author
Deposited On: 12 Nov 2015 00:21
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2015 19:58

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page