English Law

Negligence in Hospital Care?

The Case of Jenny Wants a Penny

Duty of care is defined in different ways depending on the specific circumstances involved in any one case, according to precedents set in various tort cases. In one of the most famous of these cases, Donoghue v Stevenson [1932] UKHL 100, Lord Atkin set out the principle that all members of society owe a duty of care to their "neighbors" -- anyone who might be reasonably be affected by any action taken or omitted -- to avoid causing them injury. In Bolam v Friern Hospital Management Committee [1957] 1 WLR 582, it was determined that doctors -- and by extension other individuals in skilled professionals, with professed expertise and greater-than-average knowledge and/or skill -- have an extra duty of care to maintain actions that are in accordance with the standard and reasonable practices of that profession. Simply...
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