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Law and MedicineCurrent Legal Issues Volume 3$
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Michael Freeman and Andrew Lewis

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198299189

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198299189.001.0001

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Threatening Behaviour? The Challenge Posed by Medical Negligence Claims

Threatening Behaviour? The Challenge Posed by Medical Negligence Claims

(p.81) Threatening Behaviour? The Challenge Posed by Medical Negligence Claims
Law and Medicine

Linda Mulcahy

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the threat to the medical profession posed by medical negligence claims. It develops an important argument made by Dingwall that the threat of litigation is best understood in terms of the symbolic challenge that this form of consumer activism poses to medical autonomy. The chapter is in three main parts. The first section reviews what is known about medical negligence claims. The second section draws on data collected for the evaluation which shed some new light on the threat posed by claims. The third section considers the symbolic threat of medical negligence and argues that it is this factor more than any other which explains the reaction of doctors to medical negligence.

Keywords:   medical negligence, medical practice, consumer activism, medical autonomy

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