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Childbirth and the Law$
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John Seymour

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198264682

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198264682.001.0001

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The Reality of Negligence Actions and the Need for Reform

The Reality of Negligence Actions and the Need for Reform

(p.340) 13 The Reality of Negligence Actions and the Need for Reform
Childbirth and the Law

John Seymour

Oxford University Press

Chapter 10 discussed problems arising from the courts’ application of the principles of negligence law in actions arising from obstetric misadventures. Chapter 12 sought to provide some answers to practitioners’ questions as to how the interpretation of these principles will lead to the imposition of liability to damages claims. It is not satisfactory, however, to confine the analysis to a theoretical discussion of principles and the nature of the duty of care borne by a doctor or midwife. This chapter examines the practicalities of the system in which the law of negligence operates. When this task is undertaken it becomes clear that there are major deficiencies in the way that the law meets the needs of plaintiffs and defendants in medical malpractice matters. The identification of these deficiencies suggests that a range of reforms should be considered.

Keywords:   negligence law, medical malpractice, legal reform, reform, damage claims

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